BRASILIA: Brazil’s congress – amid the political turmoil with the fragmentation of the government and pending impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff – is also turning its attention to the FIFAGate corruption scandal writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The lower house of parliament – the Camara dos Deputados – has launched a congressional commission to investigate the “crimes committed by FIFA’s directors.”
The 28-strong commission will be led by a Minas Gerais congressman, Laudivio Carvalho.
Main focus of attention will be directed at the three former presidents of the CBF who have all been indicted by the United States Department of Justice – Ricardo Teixeira, Jose Maria Marin and Marco Polo Del Nero.
Teixeira and Del Nero are home in Brazil but Marin is under house arrest in an apartment he owns in Trump Tower, New York, after being detained in Zurich last May on the eve of FIFA Congress.
The other two are protected from extradition by a clause in the constitution which prevents such action against Brazilian citizens.
All are accused by the US DoJ of corruption, fraud, conspiracy and money-laundering charges arising out of the investigation into the paying of up to $200m in bribes by and to senior international football figures.
Teixeira, Marin and Del Nero have all been members of the executive committee of world federation FIFA which has launched an action in the US claiming millions of dollars against them and others in restitution.
The congressional commission has been launched by Joao Derly, a two-time world judo champion.
Del Nero appeared earlier this year before an investigation being led by ex-World Cup star turned politician Romario into the commercial activities of the CBF. His claims not to have foreign bank accounts was treated with derision by the commission.
Teixeira has been the subject of previous parliamentary inquiries which were ultimately dropped in part, it is believed, through the influence of former President Luiz Inacio ‘Lula’ da Silva.
Earlier this month Lula was charged with money-laundering though he may escape further action for the time being after being appointed by Rousseff as her chief of staff.
** Brazil slipped to sixth in South American qualifying mini-league for the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia after a 2-2 draw in Paraguay.