The United States Department of Justice has awarded compensation of 201 million dollars to the FIFA Foundation “For the losses suffered by Concacaf, CONMEBOL and FIFA itself as a result of several decades of plots of corruption in football“ and “In compensation for the Criminal activities of various former officials ”, reported this Tuesday the highest body of world football.
“The sum was stolen from the bank accounts of former officials involved for years in football corruption schemes for which they were prosecuted”, FIFA explained in a statement in which it announced that said compensation will go to the newly created World Soccer Forgiveness Fund, “Established under the auspices of the FIFA Foundation to finance projects that positively influence communities around the world ”.
Said Fund It will focus on youth and community programs and will allocate specific amounts to Concacaf and CONMEBOL projects to alleviate the “tremendous damage” suffered as a result of corruption schemes. “In addition, all projects will be rigorously supervised with audits and compliance controls that guarantee full transparency and accountability ”, added FIFA.
“I am delighted that the illegally stolen money is now returning to football to serve its true purpose, its due purpose from the beginning ”, declared the FIFA President, Gianni Infantino after hearing the decision of the United States judicial authorities, to which he expressed his “Most sincere thanks” for the “speed and efficiency” shown in this case.
“Thanks to your intervention in 2015, we have radically changed FIFA from the toxic organization of those days to a highly esteemed and trustworthy global governing body“Said Infantino, for whom the presiding body has already passed”with profit“A period in his history that he defined as”deplorable”.
In his opinion, the 201 million dollars made available to the FIFA Foundation “they will benefit many, many people throughout the world of football, especially through programs aimed at young people and communities ”.
The FIFA President stressed that since 2016 has been in close cooperation with the United States Department of Justice, whose judgment recognizes “the important progress” that in his opinion has made from the point of view of the good governance and transparency.
“Today we know that this money is in good hands at the FIFA Foundation and that it will be used for the purposes for which it is intended. On behalf of future beneficiaries around the world, I want to thank the American authorities for the trust they have placed in FIFA. We will make sure that these funds are used as they should be, and that they bring tangible benefits to the people who really need them. “Infantino concluded.
This compensation settles the American part of the FIFAGate that erupted in May 2015 with the spectacular arrest of seven world football managers in Zurich and that led months later to the departure of Joseph Blatter, president of the institution since 1998.
The case concerned a system of bribes and “blackmail” organized by soccer officials in South and Central America in exchange for the award of the rights to broadcast television competitions, including the Copa América.
Educated in the United States, FIFAGate settled with the sentence to nine years in prison of the Paraguayan Juan Ángel Napout, former president of Conmebol, and four years in prison for Brazilian José María Marín, ex-leader of the Brazilian Federation.
American justice continues to investigate world football, especially the attribution of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar and suspicions of vote buying.
(With information from EFE and AFP)