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

World Cup.

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

ISL kickbacks.

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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