KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTING —- Ricardo Teixeira has lost his last attempt to overturn a life ban from world football imposed for years of high-level corruption which netted him “extraordinarily high amounts of bribes.”
In November 2019 the ethics committee of world football federation FIFA banned the Brazilian and fined him one million Swiss francs for taking bribes for marketing and media rights for continental and Brazilian football competitions between 2006 and 2012.
He appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport which clearly had no difficulty rejecting Teixeira’s plea.
The FIFA ethics committee had been slowly working its way through a long list of all the crooked football bosses/cheats indicted by the United States Justice Department in 2015 in the FIFAGate investigation.
Teixeira, the 74-year-old former son-in-law of the late former ex-FIFA president Joao Havelange, was for years a member of the FIFA executive committee as well as long-serving head of the Brazilian national association.
Pressure on Teixeira led to him resigning from the CBF in 2012 ahead of Brazil’s hosting of the 2014 World Cup for which he had also been local organising president.
He sought self-exile in an exclusive gated property in Miami which he had owned for some years. As the FBI closed in so he fled Florida and returned to Rio de Janeiro.
He cannot be extradited, as the US wish, because of a protective clause for Brazilian citizens in the national constitution.
Jose Maria Marin, Teixeira’s immediate successor at the CBF and on the FIFA executive committee, was one of seven senior football bosses detained in Zurich in May 2015 on the eve of FIFA Congress before serving jail time in the US on FIFAGate corruption charges.
Teixeira, who quit football in the first place of his own volition after it was revealed he had skimmed millions from FIFA’s former marketing partner ISL, has always denied wrongdoing.
In 2017 he told the Folha newspaper of Sao Paulo: “Is there a safer place than Brazil? Which? Why would I run if here I’m not accused of anything? Everything they accuse me of abroad is not a crime in Brazil. Not that I’m saying if I did it or not.”
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeal filed by Brazilian football official Ricardo Terra Teixeira against the decision taken by the Ethics Committee of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) dated 26 July 2019 (the Challenged Decision).
The Challenged Decision, in which Ricardo Terra Teixeira was found to have violated Article 27 of the FIFA Ethics Code (bribery), fined CHF 1 million, and banned for life from taking part in any football-related activity at national and international level, is confirmed.
On 20 December 2019, Ricardo Terra Teixeira filed an appeal at the CAS against the Challenged Decision, seeking a declaration that FIFA did not have jurisdiction to prosecute him as well as the annulment of the Challenged Decision.
The CAS Panel appointed to decide the matter: Mr Hendrik Willem Kesler (Netherlands), President, Judge Rauf Soulio (Australia) and Prof. Luigi Fumagalli (Italy) held a hearing with the parties by video conference on 24 February 2021 after several dates that had been fixed for an in-person hearing in 2020 had to be cancelled due to restrictions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In its deliberations, the CAS Panel comfortably concluded that Ricardo Terra Teixeira had breached Article 27 of the FIFA Ethics Code and determined that the sanction imposed in the Challenged Decision was proportionate considering the extraordinarily high amounts of the bribes at stake, Ricardo Terra Teixeira’s intentional behaviour, and his responsibility to serve as a role model as a result of the very prominent and senior positions he held in association football both at national and international level. Consequently, the Panel dismissed the appeal and confirmed the Challenged Decision in full.