FIFA president Sepp Blatter cleared of misconduct by internal investigation into bribery


Sepp Blatter succeeded Joao Havelange (right) as president of football's governing body FIFA in 1998.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has been cleared of any misconduct by an internal investigation into the bribery scandal that threatened to drag football’s world governing body into terminal crisis.

But his predecessor, Brazilian Joao Havelange, has now resigned as FIFA’s honorary president for his part in the scandal.

Havelange and former executive committee members Ricardo Teixeira and Dr. Nicolas Leoz were all found to have accepted illegal payments from FIFA’s former marketing partner International Sports and Leisure (ISL).

The payments were made between 1992 and May 2000 — ISL went bankrupt the following year.

FIFA’s Ethics Committee — set up by Blatter after the corruption scandal was investigated by the Swiss authorities last year — said it would not take any further action, adding the case was now closed.

The findings of the committee have been published in detail, following Blatter’s re-election promise in 2011 to make FIFA’s workings more transparent.

Blatter, who took over the presidency of FIFA from Havelange in 1998, welcomed the report, saying in a statement: "I have taken note of the report from the chairman of the FIFA Ethics Committee, Hans-Joachim Eckert, regarding the examination of the ISL case.

"I note in particular that, in his conclusions, chairman Eckert states that ‘the ISL case is concluded for the Ethics Committee’ and that ‘no further proceedings related to the ISL matter are warranted against any other football official.’

CNN

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