LONDON (AFP) - Fifa executive committee member Michel D'Hooghe said on Thursday that he thought a luxury watch controversially gifted to him by the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) was a type of cheese.
The US$25,900 (S$33,000) timepieces were included in gift bags given to Fifa officials during the World Cup, but the organisation's ethics committee has ordered them to be returned by October 24 or it will launch disciplinary proceedings.
D'Hooghe, the world governing body's chief medical officer, told journalists at a conference in London that the Parmigiani watch was the most "poisonous present" he had ever received.
"They say I received that watch. It is not true. I found that watch in a bag that was placed in our room," he said.
"It's only after one week that I opened it. I saw there was a watch with a plastic bracelet and the mark 'Parmigiano' (sic).
"For me Parmigiano is a cheese that you put on spaghetti. I thought it was a kind of Swatch (watch)."
D'Hooghe said that he had given the watch to an acquaintance, but had since asked for it to be returned.