ZÜRICH — Guatemalan soccer officials were among the world bosses who have been embroiled in the corruption scandal swirling around FIFA.
Almost US$1 million in FIFA soccer funds have apparently disappeared from Guatemala’s soccer federation in 2015 suggesting somebody pocketed the money, according to Reuters exclusive sources and internal audit information reported Saturday.
Last year, Guatemala’s soccer federation Fedefut received US$1.1 million in a series of nine installments from FIFA, Reuters reported after gaining access to Fedefut accounting documents. But Fedefut’s budget only showed US$250,000 in FIFA funding out of its total US$1.5 million budget at the beginning of 2015. The remainder of the funds were not reported.
Fedefut’s year-end spending report also excluded the remainder of the nine FIFA funding deposits. The general membership of the federation was also not made aware of the deposits.
Guatemalan soccer officials were among the world soccer bosses who have been embroiled in the massive corruption scandal swirling around FIFA. Fedefut head Brayan Jimenez and Secretary-General Hector Trujillo are accused of accepting a “six-digit bribe” to set up the television rights for the 2018 World Cup qualifying matches.
A FIFA committee was set up to oversee Fedefut after the local officials’ arrest. The FIFA committee conducted an internal audit and has filed a complaint to Guatemala’s Attorney General’s office over the irregular reporting and missing funds.
In the FIFA scandal that erupted last year, top officials and sports marketers have been charged with racketeering, wire fraud, and money laundering conspiracies in a years-long scheme involving bribes of hundreds of millions of dollars.
The findings of the FIFA probe into Fedefut’s reporting are set to be presented to a visiting FIFA official next week.