FIFA has admitted that its executive committee members sold World Cup votes on numerous occasions in a legal document submitted to US authorities.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, world football’s governing body said it has filed for compensation in the US as a victim of corruption by its former officials.
“It is now apparent that multiple members of FIFA’s Executive Committee abused their positions and sold their votes on multiple occasions,” FIFA said in a court document.
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FIFA said it estimates that tens of millions of dollars were “diverted from the football community illegally through bribery, kickbacks and corrupt schemes”.
The court proceedings seek to have money returned from 41 former FIFA officials including former executive committee members Chuck Blazer, Jack Warner and others who have been indicted in an ongoing investigation by the US Department of Justice.
“The convicted defendants abused the positions of trust they held at FIFA and other international football organisations and caused serious and lasting damage to FIFA, its member associations and the football community,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in the statement.
“The monies they pocketed belonged to global football and were meant for the development and promotion of the game. FIFA as the world governing body of football wants that money back and we are determined to get it no matter how long it takes.”