BASEL, SWITZERLAND (AP) - FIFA’s anti-corruption adviser called for swift publication on Friday of a Swiss court document revealing which soccer officials took millions of dollars from marketing agency ISL as kickbacks from World Cup broadcasting deals.
Mark Pieth told The Associated Press that FIFA and its President Sepp Blatter cited legal reasons for “repeatedly” denying his requests to see the document.
“This is something that needs to be publicized. We asked FIFA to get it. We have repeatedly and right from the beginning asked,” said Pieth, acknowledging that to release the document now risked a contempt of court charge.
Earlier Friday, Switzerland’s Federal Tribunal announced it extended a block on publication requested by two unidentified parties.
The ISL scandal stemmed from alleged payments of tens of millions of dollars to sports officials made by the Swiss-based marketing agency before its 2001 collapse with debts of $300 million.
The parties _ widely reported to be Brazilian former soccer leaders Joao Havelange and Ricardo Teixeira _ are appealing against five Swiss and British media organizations that won lower court rulings to access the ISL dossier.
The document reveals details of a May 2010 deal in which two officials admitted taking kickbacks in the 1990s. They repaid $6.1 million on condition their identities would remain secret.
“Nobody has really seen that document because it would be a contempt of court issue if they gave it to us,” the University of Basel professor said. “He (Blatter) has not given it to anybody because he is not allowed to. That’s the point.”
Pieth said it was “crucial” for his 13-member expert panel to study the ISL case, as they examine how serious FIFA was about investigating scandals, including alleged bribery and vote-rigging, in recent years.
“This is another element for us to say, ‘Look, we are not satisfied how these things have been dealt with.’ But we want to see it officially and we want to see it published,” the former United Nations investigator said.
Blatter asked Pieth in November to suggest widespread transparency and governance reforms of soccer’s embattled world governing body that would take effect before June 2013.
Pieth’s expert panel has sent an initial report that Blatter’s executive committee will consider at a two-day meeting opening Thursday in Zurich.
The ISL scandal has clouded Blatter’s presidency since 2001, and seeking closure has become a central part of his promised mission to improve FIFA’s image.
Still, FIFA is no longer formally involved in the appeals being considered by Switzerland’s highest court.
On Friday, the federal court said it granted a “suspensive effect” to parties identified only as “B2” and “B3” who appealed to stop publication. FIFA was party “B1” but withdrew in December.