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Ex-Fifa boss in bribery scandal

Geneva: Former Fifa president Joao Havelange and one-time Brazilian football leader Ricardo Teixeira received millions of dollars in a World Cup kickbacks scandal, football’s world governing body confirmed on Wednesday.

Fifa finally published a Swiss court dossier which detailed that Teixeira received at least 12.74 million Swiss francs (now $13 million) from 1992-97 in payments from marketing agency ISL, which collapsed into bankruptcy in 2001.

The 41-page document shows Havelange received a payment of 1.5 million Swiss francs in 1997 (then around $1 million) when he was still Fifa president.

Payments “attributed” to accounts connected to the two Brazilians totalled almost 22 million Swiss francs from 1992-2000.

The scale of kickbacks tied to World Cup commercial deals was revealed in a report by a prosecutor in the Swiss canton (state) of Zug who investigated Havelange and Teixeira for “embezzlement, or alternatively disloyal management.”

The document had been blocked from publication since June 2010, soon after prosecutors, Fifa and two of the most powerful men in world football reached a settlement deal to close the criminal investigation.

Fifa, Havelange and Teixeira had repaid 5.5 million Swiss francs (then $6.1 million) to end prosecutor Thomas Hildbrand’s probe on condition that their identities remain secret.

Fifa released the document hours after Switzerland’s Supreme Court threw out an appeal by Havelange and Teixeira, and announced its ruling that media organisations should receive details of the ISL case.

“Fifa is pleased that the ISL non-prosecution order can now be made public,” football’s world governing body said in a statement.

Still, Hildbrand’s report criticised Fifa as “a deficient organisation in its enterprise” prior to ISL’s collapse.

The report revealed that, in January 2010, Fifa insisted that investigations into its former president and then-serving member of its executive committee should be dropped as a condition of paying into the settlement deal.

Fifa made “consent conditional upon discontinuance of the proceedings,” the report showed.

Havelange and his former son-in-law Teixeira “unlawfully used assets entrusted to (them) for (their) own enrichment several times.” After helping broker the anonymity deal, Fifa was also a party to earlier appeals to block publication until dropping out of the case last December.

Calls Wednesday to the Brazilian Football Confederation, which Texeira headed for 23 years until March, were unanswered.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter said last October that he wanted to release the ISL dossier despite his organisation seeking to deny reporters access to its contents at the same time.