London - US authorities are investigating
evidence indicating FIFA's suspended president Sepp Blatter knew about R1.4bn
in bribes paid to former members of the football body, a BBC report said on
The BBC investigation alleges that sports
marketing company ISL paid a total of R1.4bn to officials including ex-FIFA
president Joao Havelange and former FIFA executive Ricardo Teixeira.
In return, the company received television
and marketing rights during the 1990s, the report said.
Blatter has maintained he was unaware of
the payments, but the BBC said it had seen a letter obtained by the Federal
Bureau of Investigation in the United States that casts doubt on his denial.
The letter refers to the ISL payments and
is alleged to have been written by Havelange, who notes that Blatter had
"full knowledge of all activities" and was "always
apprised" of them.
Blatter was Havelange's top deputy before
taking over from Havelange as FIFA president in 1998.
The BBC said Blatter had declined to
respond to their allegations.
Blatter, who was suspended in October for
90 days by FIFA's ethics committee, is due to stand down in February.
US prosecutors are investigating several
top football officials in a quest to root out graft at FIFA.