Fifa lawyers investigate dubious pay rises and bonuses of top authorities

Sport

Fifa lawyers have indicated that three of the organisation’s top brass are suspected to have awarded themselves pay rises and bonuses totalling $80-million (R1.2 billion) over five years.The Fifa offices were raided on Thursday as officials seized evidence which appears to break Swiss laws, as Sepp Blatter, Jerome Valcke and Markus Kattner were ear-marked for dubious financial payments made during their tenure within the organisation prior to their sacking.

A lengthy statement released by Fifa revealed the following:

“The attorneys conducting the internal investigation into wrongdoing at FIFA, Quinn Emanuel, today released information regarding details on contracts and compensation for a small group of former FIFA officials.

“The evidence appears to reveal a coordinated effort by three former top officials of FIFA to enrich themselves through annual salary increases, World Cup bonuses and other incentives totalling more than CHF 79 million – in just the last five years,” said Bill Burck, a partner with Quinn Emanuel.

The compensation was awarded to former FIFA President Joseph Blatter, former Secretary General Jérôme Valcke, and former Deputy Secretary General Markus Kattner, who also served as FIFA’s Chief Financial Officer.

The investigation has revealed evidence of breaches of fiduciary duty. It also raises questions about the role of FIFA’s Compensation Sub-Committee.

It is clear that the preliminary findings indicate that the payments and contracts warrant considerable further investigation. FIFA has shared this information with the Office of the Swiss Attorney General and it will brief the U.S. Department of Justice on the matters as well. This is consistent with FIFA’s commitment to cooperate with the authorities and FIFA’s policy of zero tolerance for wrongdoing. FIFA will also refer the matter of these contracts and payments to the FIFA Ethics Committee for its review.

Quinn Emanuel provided the following details on the investigation:

• On 23 May 2016, FIFA announced that it had terminated with immediate effect the contract of the then-Deputy Secretary General Markus Kattner for breaches of his fiduciary duties to FIFA. That decision was based on documents and evidence collected as part of the internal investigation.

• The documents and evidence also raise serious questions about the way a series of problematic contract amendments in favour of Mr. Blatter, Mr. Kattner and former Secretary General Jérôme Valcke were approved. These amendments resulted in massive payouts – amounting to tens of millions of dollars – to the former FIFA officials in the form of salaries and bonuses between the years 2011 and 2015.

• In total, the new documents and evidence appear to reveal a coordinated effort by three former top officials of FIFA to enrich themselves through annual salary increases, World Cup bonuses, as well as undue severance payments.”
Article by: Staff Reporter

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