Fifa begins probe into allegations

ZURICH • Football's world governing body Fifa has launched an internal investigation of alleged corruption, two people familiar with the matter said, in a development that may signal greater cooperation with criminal probes by United States and Swiss authorities.

Members of Fifa's executive committee were briefed on the internal investigation at a closed-door meeting in Zurich last month, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, a US law firm, is conducting the investigation, which is running parallel to the probes by authorities in the US and Switzerland, the sources said.

The results of the investigation are expected to be shared with the authorities, they added.

Fifa was thrown into turmoil in May when US prosecutors announced the indictment of nine current and former football officials, many of whom had Fifa positions, and five sports marketing executives. Prosecutors said the 14 corrupted the sport by agreeing to more than US$150 million (S$207 million) in bribes and kickbacks for media and marketing rights.

It was previously known that Fifa had hired Quinn Emanuel to only represent its interests during the US and Swiss investigations.

It was not clear what stage the internal investigation had reached or how long it would take.

Fifa is cooperating with authorities and will not comment on ongoing investigations, said a spokesman for the organisation.

He added: "We are dedicated to improving the organisation, and will continue to strengthen Fifa's governance and accountability. Our work in this area continuously evolves, and we are focused on achieving the highest standards for the international football community."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 09, 2015, with the headline 'Fifa begins probe into allegations'. Print Edition | Subscribe