Report: FBI looking into Blatter's role in bribery case

AP News
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Posted: Dec 06, 2015 11:52 PM
Report: FBI looking into Blatter's role in bribery case

LONDON (AP) — The FBI is investigating Sepp Blatter's role in a kickbacks scandal that involved his predecessor as FIFA president, Joao Havelange, the BBC reported Sunday.

The BBC said it will air a program Monday with evidence that indicates Blatter knew about millions of dollars in bribes being paid out to senior FIFA officials in the 1990s by sports marketing company ISL in return for television and marketing rights.

Havelange had to resign as honorary FIFA president over his role in the case, but Blatter has denied knowledge of the payments.

However, the BBC says it has seen a letter apparently written by Havelange that suggests Blatter, who is currently suspended by FIFA in a separate case, was aware of the payments but took no action.

The British broadcaster quoted the letter as saying that Blatter had "full knowledge of all activities" in regards to the ISL payments and was "always apprised" of them.

It did not say when the letter was written, but that it is included in an FBI request to Swiss authorities for help in a wider probe into soccer corruption. The request says that "among other things, the prosecutor is investigating Havelange's statements implicating Blatter."