RIO DE JANEIRO: The Brazilian football establishment has responded angrily to the accusations lodged against the CBF’s last three presidents in FIFA’s restitution claim in the United States courts.
Lawyers acting for the world football federation have applied in New York to reclaim monies forfeited by those who have pleaded guilty – and those yet to be convicted – to FIFAGate corruption charges.
A ‘league table’ of monies owed by a dozen indicted individuals assesses Ricardo Teixeira, Jose Maria Maria Marin and Marco Polo Del Nero as having raked in more than $5m between them.
All three were not only successive presidents of the Brazilian confederation but members of the FIFA executive committee.
Teixeira is assessed personaly at $3,514,025, Del Nero at $1,673,171 and Marin at $114,507.
Marin is the only one of the three apprehended by the US judicial authorities. He is on bail under house arrest in New York after being one of the ‘Zurich seven’ arrested in the original Swiss police swoop in May last year.
Teixeira has said he intends to sue FIFA for reputational damage while the CBF, in a statement, has insisted that Del Nero has done nothing wrong.
A CBF statement responded that “FIFA had not presented any conclusive evidence”, that the claim was unjustifiable and politically motivated.
It added: “The CBF has full confidence in the conduct of its [past] president.”
Teixeira, the former son-in-law of long-time FIFA president Joao Havelange, has said that he intends to take legal action against the world federation.
He may find this an awkward process to pursue since Teixeira runs the risk of arrest by the US authorities should he ever leave Brazil.
Both he and Del Nero, though indicted by the US DoJ, cannot be extradited from Brazil under protection afforded citizens by the constitution.
The sums refer only to the years covered by the FIFAGate investigation.They do not take into account the $20m which Teixeira and Havelange, reaped in illicit commissions from ISL, the bankrupted former marketing partner of the world federation.