Soccer

Blatter cleared of misconduct

2013-04-30 12:17
Sepp Blatter (AFP)

Berne - Joao Havelange has quit as FIFA's honorary president while Sepp Blatter has been cleared of misconduct in the ISL bribery case, a report by FIFA's ethics committee said on Tuesday.

The report described the behaviour of Havelange as "morally and ethically reproachable" in his dealings with ISL, FIFA's former marketing partner which went bankrupt in 2001.

The report by Hans-Joachim Eckert, head of the ethics committee's adjudicatory chamber, cleared FIFA president Blatter, who was secretary-general at the time, of any wrongdoing but added that his conduct had been "clumsy".

It also said that former South America Football Confederation president and FIFA executive committee member Nicolas Leoz, who quit his posts last week, had taken "bribes" from ISL.

A Swiss prosecutor said in a legal document released last July that Havelange, FIFA president from 1974 to 1998, and former executive committee member Ricardo Teixeira, took multi-million bribes from ISL on World Cup deals in the 1990s.

Swiss member of parliament Roland Buechel said at the time that FIFA needed to further investigate the actions of Leoz in the case.

FIFA subsequently set up its own investigation led by Michael Garcia, a U.S. attorney who heads the investigatory chamber of the ethics committee.

"It is clear that Havelange and Teixeira, as football officials, should not have accepted any bribe money, and should have had to pay it back since the money was in connection with the exploitation of media rights," Eckert's report said.

"From money that passed through the ISMM/ISL Group, it is certain that not inconsiderable amounts were channelled to Havelange and to his son-in-law Ricardo Teixeira as well as to Nicolas Leoz, whereby there is no indication that any form of service was given in return by the them.

"These payments were apparently made via front companies in order to cover up the true recipient and are to be qualified as "commissions", known today as "bribes"," the report said.

It added: "There are... no indications whatsoever that President Blatter was responsible for a cash flow to Havelange, Teixeira or Leoz, or that that he himself received any payments from the ISL Group, even in the form of hidden kick back payments.

"It must be questioned, however, whether President Blatter knew or should have known over the years before the bankruptcy of ISL that ISL had made payments (bribes) to other FIFA officials.

"President Blatter's conduct could not be classified in any way as misconduct with regard to any ethics rules.

"The conduct of President Blatter may have been clumsy because there could be an internal need for clarification, but this does not lead to any criminal or ethical misconduct."

Blatter said he noted the report "with satisfaction"

"I have no doubt that FIFA, thanks to the governance reform process that I proposed, now has the mechanisms and means to ensure that such an issue - which has caused untold damage to the reputation of our institution - does not happen again," he said in a statement.

Read more on:    fifa  |  sepp blatter  |  joao havelange  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

3 must-do trail runs

If you love trail running, you have to put these on your bucket list.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Tips for paddling your first Dusi
Climbing the world’s largest stone arch
Awesome extreme sports people
Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route
 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
Vote

Where should Rivaldo Coetzee play his soccer next season?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.