Romario vows to investigate FIFA irregularities
Former star striker Romario is pledging to step up his efforts
in Brazil’s parliament to shed light on alleged irregularities
involving FIFA and Brazilian football federation president Ricardo
Romario, now a congressman, said he is teaming up with other
Brazilian legislators to investigate football’s governing body
ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Romario will pressure Swiss authorities to release documents
which allegedly show that Teixeira was one of the members accused
of taking kickbacks from a former FIFA marketing partner in the
Teixeira is president of the organizing committee for the 2014
Romario said on his website Thursday that he and other
legislators will ask Swiss authorities to let them review files
from a court case involving former FIFA marketing partner ISL,
which collapsed in 2001.
Romario said access to the documents is ”crucial for the (World
Cup) to take place with clarity and honesty in our country.”
British broadcaster BBC has reported that court documents name
Teixeira and President Sepp Blatter’s predecessor, Joao Havelange,
as two FIFA members who repaid kickbacks worth $7 million. FIFA has
blocked the court in Zug from identifying the officials.
Blatter last month promised to release the files from the
10-year-old corruption scandal as part of his efforts to reform
FIFA and world football after a slew of scandals involving bribery,
vote-rigging and ticket scams. He said his executive committee will
reopen the ISL dossier at a Dec. 16-17 meeting in Tokyo.
Teixeira and FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke participated
in a congressional committee meeting Wednesday, in which Romario
asked them several questions about alleged irregularities involving
the Brazilian football official and the sports’ governing body, but
got few and evasive answers from the duo.
The congressional committee was meeting to discuss the approval
of a law needed for the 2014 World Cup and was not directly related
to Romario’s decision to investigate Teixeira and FIFA.
In his first year as a congressman, Romario has been very active
in monitoring Brazil’s preparations for the World Cup and the 2016
Rio Olympics, saying he wants to make sure that everything will be
ready in time and that public money will be well spent.
”I was elected by thousands of votes to occupy this chair,” he
said. ”I’ve have nothing against FIFA or against the Brazilian
federation, but as a congressman I have the responsibility to
defend the sovereignty of my country. I will fight until I can’t to
keep FIFA from establishing a state within this state.”
The Brazilian Congress has twice investigated Teixeira for
alleged wrongdoing, but the inquiries were never completed.
One of the most powerful men in Brazilian football, Teixeira has
been repeatedly attacked by local media over alleged irregularities
during his reign since taking over the federation in 1989.
Earlier this year, a prosecutor ordered Brazilian police to
investigate him over a money transfer allegedly stemming from the
Teixeira has never been convicted and denies any wrongdoing.
He recently also was accused of unethical behavior by the former
chairman of England’s Football Association, David Triesman, who
said during a British parliamentary inquiry that Teixeira and other
FIFA executive committee members engaged in improper conduct during
bidding for the 2018 World Cup.
FIFA dismissed those accusations, and the Brazilian official
said the allegations were made because the English were upset over
losing the World Cup bid.
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