Mark's Feed
Jun 24, 2015

Exclusive: Swiss authorities examine FIFA grants in soccer probe – source

LONDON – (Reuters) – Swiss authorities are examining development grants made by FIFA around the world as part of their investigation into the sport’s global governing body and its award of World Cup hosting rights for Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022, a source familiar with the probe said.

In particular, the investigators are looking at how the money was spent and whether there is any falsification of documents, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The grants mainly go to national soccer associations and are often earmarked for new soccer pitches and related facilities, or for training programs.

Jun 24, 2015

Swiss authorities examine FIFA grants in soccer probe-source

LONDON, June 24 – (Reuters) – Swiss authorities are examining development grants made by FIFA around the world as part of their investigation into the sport’s global governing body and its award of World Cup hosting rights for Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022, a source familiar with the probe said.

In particular, the investigators are looking at how the money was spent and whether there is any falsification of documents, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The grants mainly go to national soccer associations and are often earmarked for new soccer pitches and related facilities, or for training programs.

Jun 24, 2015

U.S., European authorities investigate possible new leaker: sources

LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. and European security authorities are investigating whether a previously unknown leaker provided sensitive intelligence documents to WikiLeaks about alleged U.S. spying on French politicians, according to sources familiar with the matter.

WikiLeaks, the transparency lobby group, on Tuesday released purportedly classified National Security Agency documents alleging that the U.S. eavesdropping agency conducted surveillance on three successive French presidents – Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy and incumbent François Hollande.

Jun 23, 2015

Exclusive: Swiss authorities probing FIFA say Garcia report of little help – source

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Swiss authorities investigating whether there was corruption in the awarding of World Cup hosting rights to Russia and Qatar are finding that a report produced by U.S. lawyer Michael Garcia at the end of an internal FIFA inquiry is of little value to their probe, according to a source close to investigations into the soccer governing body.

    Swiss officials question whether Garcia’s report, which has not been made public, has significant evidentiary value, said the source, who spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity. That is because Garcia, who was hired by FIFA, had no subpoena power, did not take sworn testimony, and was operating under FIFA’s own ethical rules, which had little enforcement power behind them, the source added.

Jun 23, 2015

Swiss authorities probing FIFA say Garcia report of little help-source

LONDON/NEW YORK, June 23 (Reuters) – Swiss authorities investigating whether there was corruption in the awarding of World Cup hosting rights to Russia and Qatar are finding that a report produced by U.S. lawyer Michael Garcia at the end of an internal FIFA inquiry is of little value to their probe, according to a source close to investigations into the soccer governing body.

Swiss officials question whether Garcia’s report, which has not been made public, has significant evidentiary value, said the source, who spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity. That is because Garcia, who was hired by FIFA, had no subpoena power, did not take sworn testimony, and was operating under FIFA’s own ethical rules, which had little enforcement power behind them, the source added.

Jun 23, 2015

Qatar group to push sports integrity in US even as World Cup award faces probes

NEW YORK/LONDON, June 23 (Reuters) – FIFA’s granting of rights to Qatar to host the World Cup in 2022 is a focus of U.S. and Swiss probes into alleged corruption at soccer’s governing body, but that isn’t stopping a group financed by the tiny nation from coming to Washington this week to talk about cleaning up sports.

The Doha-based International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS), which is largely funded by the Qatari government, will talk about its efforts to boost transparency in bidding processes for major sporting events and combat financial malpractice in professional sport at an event it is holding at the National Press Club on Wednesday.

Jun 22, 2015

World anti-money laundering body deletes FIFA-related warning

London (Reuters) – A world anti-money laundering body has deleted all trace of an alert it issued last week warning that financial institutions had not done enough to police suspicious financial activity by officials at FIFA, soccer’s global governing body.

The alert, on the website of the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force, was originally posted on June 16, almost three weeks after U.S. authorities indicted nine current and former FIFA officials and five business executives on a series of corruption charges, including bribery, money laundering and wire fraud.

Jun 22, 2015

Banks did not do enough to police FIFA transactions, says global agency

LOUIS (Reuters) – A global group of government
anti-money-laundering agencies said that financial institutions
have not done enough to police suspicious financial activity by
officials at soccer’s global governing body FIFA, and cautioned
banks to step up scrutiny.

The warning from the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force
came in the wake of last month’s indictment by the United States
of nine current and former FIFA officials and five business
executives on a series of corruption charges, including bribery,
money laundering and wire fraud.

Jun 21, 2015

Exclusive: Banks did not do enough to police FIFA transactions, says global agency

LONDON (Reuters) – A global group of government anti-money-laundering agencies said that financial institutions have not done enough to police suspicious financial activity by officials at soccer’s global governing body FIFA, and cautioned banks to step up scrutiny.

The warning from the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force came in the wake of last month’s indictment by the U.S. of nine current and former FIFA officials and five business executives on a series of corruption charges, including bribery, money laundering and wire fraud.

Jun 17, 2015

Blatter hires counsel as Swiss FIFA probe eyes bank transactions

BERNE, June 17 (Reuters) – Sepp Blatter, FIFA’s embattled president, has hired a high-powered U.S. lawyer to represent him, a source said on Wednesday as a corruption probe engulfs soccer’s global governing body with Swiss authorities identifying suspicious bank transactions.

Blatter retained Richard Cullen, the chairman of the law firm McGuireWoods and a former U.S. federal prosecutor, said the person familiar with the matter who spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity.