The United States Department of Justice has awarded the sum of USD 201 million to the FIFA Foundation as compensation for the losses suffered by FIFA, Concacaf and CONMEBOL as victims of decades of football corruption schemes.
This money was seized from the bank accounts of former officials who were involved in, and then prosecuted for, years of corruption schemes in football. The funds will go into a newly formed World Football Remission Fund, established under the auspices of the FIFA Foundation to help finance football-related projects with positive community impact across the globe.
“I am delighted to see that money which was illegally siphoned out of football is now coming back to be used for its proper purposes, as it should have been in the first place,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. “I want to sincerely thank the US Justice authorities for their efforts in this respect, for their fast and effective approach in bringing these matters to a conclusion, and also for their trust in general. The truth is that, thanks to their intervention back in 2015, we have been able to fundamentally change FIFA from a toxic organisation at the time, to a highly esteemed and trusted global sports governing body. Thankfully, we are well past that unfortunate period in history now and it’s great to see significant funding being put at the disposal of the FIFA Foundation, which can positively impact so many people across the football world, especially through youth and community programmes.”
The FIFA President added: “Since 2016, FIFA and the United States Department of Justice have been in close cooperation, and I believe this decision also acknowledges the significant progress we have made in terms of good governance and transparency, all of which was discussed and presented by FIFA officials and me in meetings with the authorities. Today, they know that with the FIFA Foundation this money is in good hands and will serve the purpose it is intended for.”
“On behalf of all future beneficiaries around the world, I would like to thank the US authorities for the trust placed in FIFA, and we will make sure that these funds are used properly and bring tangible benefits for people who really need it,” concluded the FIFA President.
The World Football Remission Fund will be operated under the auspices of the FIFA Foundation, which is an independent foundation aimed to promote positive social change around the world through football. The Fund, which is intended to have a particular focus on youth and community programmes, will have earmarked amounts to projects within Concacaf and CONMEBOL, given that they suffered significantly as a result of the criminal activities. In addition, all projects will be submitted to strict monitoring, auditing and compliance checks to guarantee full transparency and accountability.
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