ZURICH: FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s stated expectation of an imminent release of the contentious ISL case file has been undermined yet again now that appeals against such a decision are to go to the Swiss Supreme Court.
Five case files have been registered which will take up to six months to process. Under the terms of the original, clearly disreputable agreement between the original investigators in Zug and FIFA a decade ago, the identities of those involved must stay secret. The agreement included the repayment of more than $6.1m.
However it was been widely reported that sports officials named in the papers as having received illicit payments from the long-bankrupt former marketing partner of FIFA and the IOC have included Brazilian football supremos Joao Havelange and former son-in-law Ricardo Teixeira, Paraguayan Nicolas Leoz (president of the South American confederation), African football leader Issa Hayatou and international athletics boss Lamine Diack.
Teixeira, Leoz and Hayatou are all current member of the FIFA executive committee.
The appeals challenge a December decision by the Zug canton supreme court calling on FIFA to publish the dossier. Oddly FIFA was then listed among the appellants seeking to prevent publication although Blatter had said he wanted the document opened up.
The 2010 settlement document reportedly identifies football officials who admitted taking kickbacks, and repaid $6.1 million to remain anonymous.
Dealing with the ISL case, which has often cast a shadow on Blatter’s 14-year presidency, has became a central part of the FIFA president’s promised anti-corruption reforms after a series of scandals implicating executive committee members.
In October, Blatter promised to release the Zug court document, with the permission of his ruling board after a meeting in December. But FIFA postponed publication, citing “legal measures” taken by a party involved in the ISL scandal. FIFA did not identify which third party had stalled the process.
Havelange resigned his 48-year membership of the International Olympic Committee in December, days before he faced sanctions and a likely suspension following an IOC ethics commission investigation into the ISL case.
The IOC said last month it no longer sought access to the Zug court dossier after completing its ethics probes after which it took nominal disciplinary action against Hayatou and Diack.
The ISL scandal stemmed from alleged payments of tens of millions of dollars made by the Swiss-based marketing agency before its 2001 collapse with debts of $300 million.