Fifa corruption scandal: the costs of alleged foul play

The arrest and charging of 14 high-level Fédération Internationale de Football Association (Fifa) officials on Wednesday is said to be unprecedented in football and possibly even sports administration at large.

In a 47 count indictment by the United States attorney general, the football organisation has been charged with fraud to the value of $150 million around Fifa games and processes.

South Africa is also alleged to have paid former Fifa vice president Jack Warner a concealed-bribe of $10-million for his support for the 2010 bid.

Two unnamed South Africans are reported as being co-conspirators in the scandal, whilst Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula has come out to deny the allegations.

The Swiss government has also started their own investigation, specifically into the 2018 and 2022 bid allocations.

We interviewed Steven Powell, Forensics Executive at law firm ENS, about the consequences for the football federation as well as South Africa’s involvement.

The action by the US is based on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

Steven Powell, Forensics Executive at ENS

The bulk of the FCPA enforcement actions are actually settled. This involves the company paying a fine, taking major remedial action and cleaning out the organization.

Steven Powell, Forensics Executive at ENS

The Act is used by the American authorities to persecute and prosecute offenders involved in corrupt activity all across the globe.

Steven Powell, Forensics Executive at ENS

The US established jurisdiction on quite tenuous grounds. It can be based on meetings and activities that took place on American ground or through a dollar payment through a US bank or an e-mail, routed through an American server.

Steven Powell, Forensics Executive at ENS

The US government has signed extradition treaties and mutual legal co-operation agreements with many counties including South Africa.

Steven Powell, Forensics Executive at ENS

Individual directives will be indicted and prosecuted and sentenced to prison where appropriate. There have been more than 53 individuals indicted in terms of FCPA.

Steven Powell, Forensics Executive at ENS

In the corruption prosecutions, the companies are subject to major penalties. We’re talking about huge money.

Steven Powell, Forensics Executive at ENS

With something as serious as this, they will make an example of the senior culprits.

Steven Powell, Forensics Executive at ENS

Listen to the audio (scroll down) for more detail:

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