The wealthy little town of Zug sits on a lake of the same name and the express train from Zurich to Lucerne stops right on the main street. It is the capital of the Canton of Zug and is a low tax region, hence the HQ of many companies. I have made the trip many times.
Before the 1990 World Cup, ITALIA '90 we spent a few days there and it was in the Swiss federal court in 2001 in Zug that after the collapse of the sports marketing company ISL with debts of $300 million, that bribery allegations were made. At the time these payments were not against Swiss Law. FIFA as one of its major clients. In 1990 their HQ was in Lucerne and I visited them a couple of times and was able to obtain a few dozen World Cup tickets for my group and cost price.
Last night the BBC Panorama's programme 'FIFA's DIRTY SECRETS' exposed 3 of the FIFA executive committee for receiving big bribes for corruption, and these three are among the 22-23 voting on Thursday afternoon at FIFA's Zurich headquarters to determine where the 2018 and 2022 World Cups will be held.
Brazil's Ricardo Teixeira is one of the them, and head the CBF and will be in charge of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He is the son in law of former FIFA President Joao Havelange, who succeeded Sir Stanly Rous at the FIFA Congress in 1974. I was at that congress, the day before the 1974 World Cup. The vote went to a second ballot and I sat next to Rouse at the back of the Frankfurt Convention Centre as he waited for the second and deciding vote that ousted him.
Havelange also received a 1.5 million Swiss Francs payment that went to FIFA accounts by mistake a few years ago, and was quickly transferred to his own secret account in a hurry. About 24 years ago I was taken to his FIFA office in Rio de Janeiro by a friend of mine, the daughter of a Brazilian World Cup Final referee to meet him. While I waited for him to show up I sat in an ante room and watched some of his cronies count out and divide up thousands of US dollars between themselves, the per diems that they were due after an extended FIFA overseas trip. Quite revealing.
Paraguay's Nicolas Leoz was known to have received one bribe of $650.00 but Andrew Jennings in the BBC programme showed details of two other bribes, each of $200,000. Cameroon's Issa Hayatou, who once unsuccessfully challenged Blatter for the FIFA Presidency was also shown by Jennings to have received paments from ISL. He is also a member of the IOC-International Olympic Committee and after the Salt Lake City scandal they tightened their rules. Today they announced that they would investigate Hayatou, even though FIFA won't.They are difficult to trace further because they were all paid into secret Liechtenstein bank accounts. 175 secret payments were made between 1989 and 1999 totalling £64 million.
Jack Warner who has been expected to 'deliver' the three CONCACAF Votes for England was shown to have made over $1 million profit from dealing in 2006 World Cup tickets and behind closed doors was told by Blatter to pay that amount to a FIFA 'charity' as a 'punishment-case closed.. He also, with his son, purchased $84,000 worth of 2010 World Cup tickets, including 38 for the Final at Soccer City. This deal collapsed when touts would not pay up since the market was flooded as disinterested locals and fewer than expected foreigners were willing to pay.
Already both Spain/Portugal and Russia claim to have 8 votes each in their pockets, and even Germany's Franz Beckenbauer is expected to vote for the Russians rather than England.
One man involved in the bidding is Andreas Herren, former FIFA Press Secretary, who resigned a couple of years ago to form his own PR Company, and who works for the Russia 2018 bid. He is a small man who was seen in the Panorama programme to refuse to answer Jennings's questions at FIFA HQ before he was permanently banned from attending any press conferences world wide. Why he didn't just lift up the little Swiss guy and give him a 'wedgy' I don't know.
If Russia wins the 2018 vote and on the same day, December 2nd, Qatar wins the 2022 vote, there might be A REVOLUTION, and a break away World Federation formed backed by Western European associations. ALSO, I expect that if USA doesn't win the 2022 vote then you can expect a US Senate investigation over FIFA corruption charges. The reason being that many of FIFA's big backers, Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Mastercard are headquartered in USA.
www.transparencyinsport.org is Andrew Jennings' web site, and you can keep up to date with all the evidence and charges, and the Panorama programme, with more revelations to be posted later thios week.