November 29 – It has taken several years to punish him but although US authorities have not yet been able to, FIFA finally has.
Football’s world governing body has banned its one-time vice-president Ricardo Teixeira for life and fined him CHF1 million after finding him guilty of bribery.
Teixeira, one of the inner circle of old-school FIFA bigwigs who ran Brazilian football from 1989 to 2012, was among those indicted in 2015 by US Justice Department prosecutors investigating the FifaGate scandal but has always managed to escape extradition from his homeland.
A former son-in-law of long-time FIFA boss Joao Havelange, he was actually one of three Brazilian FA (CBF) presidents indicted, the other two being Jose Maria Marin and Marco Polo Del Nero, both of whom have also received life bans and fines of a CHF1 million for bribery, with Marin currently also serving a four-year jail term in the US.
Teixeira famously resigned from the FIFA executive committee in 2012 citing health reasons ahead of being formally implicated in the FIFA scandal and also stepped down from organising the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Now, in a long overdue judgment by the FIFA ethics committee, he has been found guilty of taking bribes linked to commercial contracts for Conmebol competitions from 2006-12 and at last will be forced to cut all ties with the sport.
“The investigation into Mr Teixeira referred to bribery schemes, conducted during the 2006-2012 period, in relation to his role in awarding contracts to companies for the media and marketing rights to CBF, Conmebol and Concacaf competitions,” FIFA said.
The ruling noted “bribe payments and promises of such payments of several million dollars, money which could otherwise have been invested into the development of football in Brazil and South America.”
Teixeira, who has denied all accusations against him, apparently banked the money “in Middle East, in far Asia, in Andorra, in Europe, and always with beneficial owners that were very common names in Chinese or in each region, which was impossible to know who it was.”
Teixeira has also been embroiled a number of other scandals, not least dodging a Spanish attempt to bring him to justice for alleged involvement in the same case that saw ex-Barcelona boss Sandro Rosell jailed. And well before the FifaGate scandal, he was one of the main beneficiaries of ISL — the discredited Swiss marketing firm in charge of rights for FIFA before going bust in 2001. According to court documents made public in 2012, ISL paid out kickbacks of over CHF 40 million to Havalange and Teixeira between 1992 and 2000.
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