By Andrew Warshaw
January 13 – Christopher Steele, the man who it is claimed wrote the explosive raw intelligence dossier on compromising material Russia allegedly collected on US President-elect Donald Trump, worked with the FBI in investigating FIFA as well as England’s 2018 World Cup bid team, according to unconfirmed reports.
As rumours circulated that Steele, who co-founded Orbis Business Intelligence, a corporate intelligence consultancy providing “strategic insight, intelligence and investigative services” had fled his home in the south of England and gone into hiding, media organisations said that after leaving the British secret services, he provided the FBI with information on the activities of FIFA.
Emails seen by Reuters indicate that, in the summer of 2010, FBI officials assigned to investigate ‘Eurasian Organized Crime’ met Steele in London where discussions allegedly included allegations of possible corruption involving football’s world governing body.
Several years later the US-led probe into football corruption led to the indictments of a string of FIFA-associated bigwigs. The probe, which also led to FIFA president Sepp Blatter being forced to resign, is still ongoing with many of those detained, notably former CONCACAF supremo Jeffrey Webb, awaiting trial.
It is also understood Orbis was hired by the English FA to gather information on rival bidding countries for the 2018 World Cup, notably Russia who were ultimately awarded hosting rights. Swiss authorities are currently investigating claims of wrongdoing in the bidding processes for both 2018 and 2022.
It was Steele’s work on corruption in international football that reportedly added credence to his claims of Trump’s activities in Russia, according to US officials, though intelligence experts appear divided as to whether the highly incriminating dossier is genuine or, as Trump is at pains to stress, fake.
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