BERLIN: German federation president Wolfgang Niersbach has described himself as “shocked” by Sepp Blatter’s response to the confirmation of the contents of the ISL file writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Court documents released in Switzerland revealed that Brazil’s former FIFA president Joao Havelange, now 96, received at least 1.5m Swiss francs (£986,000) and ex-FIFA executive committee member Ricardo Teixeira at least £12.74m.
The bribes, paid by long-time FIFA marketing partner International Sport and Leisure, were detailed in documents originally declared confidential by the Swiss courts under a settlement action after the company’s bankruptcy with debtsof around $300m.
Blatter, general secretary and then chief excecutive of FIFA in the ISL era, said on Thursday that such payments were not illegal under Swiss law at the time.
Niersbach, attending a referees’ meeting in Germany, was amazed at Blatter’s comments.
He said: “The reaction of the president of FIFA shocked me. If FIFA people, and not the lowest among them, received money and the response is that that this was not illegal at the time then we at the DFB can only distance ourselves.”
Responding to comments from Bundesliga chairman Reinhard Rauball, who wants Blatter to resign, Niersbach said: “That is a decision for him.”
The court documents stated that senior FIFA officials knew Havelange and Teixeira had been paid bribes by ISL and that both were subject to a criminal investigation.
The concerns of the German federation could prompt further inquiries into events behind the scenes six years earlier when Germany had won the right to host the 2006 World Cup. Niersbach was the head of communications for the World Cup hosting operation.
# # # #