Na última quarta-feira o jornalista britânico Andrew Jennings, da BBC, esteve presente no Senado para falar sobre as denúncias de propina envolvendo membros da FIFA e da CBF.
Durante a reunião, Jennings citou uma reportagem que foi ao ar no programa Panorama, exibido pela emissora inglesa, além da investigação realizada pela CPI do futebol em 2001 que apontava o presidente da Confederação Brasileira de Futebol, Ricardo Teixeira, como beneficiário de recursos ilegais.
Segundo ele, Teixeira teria recebido 9,5 milhões de dólares em um esquema de corrupção, envolvendo a empresa ISL, que detinha os direitos exclusivos de negociação da Copa do Mundo, e João Havelange, ex-presidente da FIFA, substituído por Joseph Blatter em 1998, teria sido agraciado com um milhão de dólares. Ainda de acordo com o jornalista os recursos foram encaminhados através de paraísos fiscais e, ambos, Teixeira e Havelange, fizeram um acordo com a justiça suíça, que julgava o caso, no qual assumiam que recebiam propinas, sendo obrigados a pagarem uma multa em troca do sigilo do processo e de seus nomes.
O presidente em exercício da FIFA tampouco saiu ileso do processo, tendo banido o jornalista, definitivamente, de conferências e de eventos organizados pela entidade. Abaixo segue entrevista realizada pelo Deputado Federal Romário com o jornalista, que foi publicada nos seguintes endereços:
Journalist Andrew Jennings gives an exclusive interview to former iconic Brazilian footballer and now Congressman Romario for his new website:
Romário: How long have you been investigating corruption in sport?
Andrew Jennings: I have been an investigative reporter for 40 years and 20 years ago I was investigating the Palermo mafia and their operations in Europe, the UK and North America. At one stage while filming in Palermo I found myself nose-nose with a very angry mobster who commanded us to stop filming.
This experience and understanding of how Organised Crime Families operate was perfect training for the next target – the international sports federations. I thought this work would not last too long. Twenty years later I am still unearthing corruption evidence – especially at FIFA! I have no doubt that FIFA is an organised crime family and Blatter’s mechanism is lubricated with development grants and endless allowances of precious World Cup tickets.
Romário: Why are you so interested in Ricardo Teixeira, the CBF and their involvement in the 2014 World Cup?
AJ: Any fan – or reporter – has to be interested in who is hosting the next World Cup and how preparations are going. After the corruption in South Africa when so many unneeded football stadiums were built – and the profits that went to corrupt politicians and contractors – Brazil, which still has poverty to overcome, will be scrutinised by the rest of the world. Globally, there is no trust in the CBF.
There is also little trust in the frequent statements by FIFA general secretary Jérôme Valcke that Brazilis not preparing fast enough. Whether that is true or not, international observers note the warm relationship between Valcke and Teixeira. You have to wonder why? This pressure from FIFA should be resisted.
I am sure that in recent years Blatter promised Teixeira that we would be the next FIFA president. With Both men now deep in scandal, this is less likely.
Romário: Who is Ricardo Teixeira in the context of international soccer?
AJ: Few fans out side Brazil would recognise Teixeira on the street. Those who do know him see a man who became rich and powerful exploiting Brazilian football and FIFA. The international news wires run stories about his dubious involvement in World Cup contracts Teixeira is permanently shamed by the 2001 Alvaro Dias report which was reported internationally.
His nickname ‘Tricky Ricky’ is now spreading around the world.
Romário: How did Brazil win the right to stage 2014?
AJ: Blatter the mafia Godfather has to keep his world-wide Under-Bosses happy. Ricardo wanted his own World Cup so he could loot it. The best way for Blatter to keep him loyal was to let him have 2014. After South Africa had been robbed in 2000 for the 2006 World Cup – bribes were paid on behalf of Germany– the whole of Africa was furious. Blatter hurriedly introduced the idea of rotating the World Cup between continents. South Africa then got 2010 and 2014 was promised to South America. You have to wonder what deals were secretly made between Teixeira and the rest of the Comnebol countries.
Romário: You talk about the secrets in Zug? What is this story?
AJ: This is the FIFA’s big one, bigger than any other scandal. A spectre that has been haunting Blatter, Teixeira and João Havelange for the last decade. For the two previous decades massive bribes were paid by a Swiss sports marketing company in return for being awarded the lucrative contracts for the FIFA World Cup. That company, ISL, went bust in early 2001 and the gangsters at FIFA have been trying desperately ever since to undermine investigations by criminal prosecutors.
Romário: What kind of bribes are we talking about?
AJ: I sat in a Swiss courtroom in March 2008 and heard a judge reveal that ISL had paid around $100 million in bribes to get their contracts. The reporters in court were stunned by the amount. $100 million in bribes! This was going to be the biggest corruption story in the history of FIFA – and maybe world sport.
Romário: And the investigations continued?
AJ: That case was about how the managers of ISL had misbehaved. The police investigations continued into the bribes and the case was settled out of court in the summer of last year – the announcement was made during the World Cup inSouth Africaand got little attention. The formal statement from the prosecutor’s office in Zug said, ‘Investigating Magistrate Thomas Hildbrand in August 2008 began an investigation into allegations that certain members of FIFA’s Executive Committee received kickbacks on marketing contracts. After five years of inquiries the accused agreed to repay CHF5.5million and the case was closed.”
Romário: What did this mean, put simply?
AJ: The three targets of the investigation had to confess they knew about the bribes and that two of them had taken bribes. They repaid some of the money and were guaranteed secrecy. That is the Swiss judicial way of settling some criminal cases.
Romário: Is that the end of the story?
AJ: Certainly not. Our duty as BBC journalists was to find out who had admitted taking the bribes. We felt that the world had a right to know.
Romário: So what have you done?
AJ: As reporters do, we made confidential inquiries in Switzerland and learned a great deal more. So, on May 23 this year I presented a BBC Panorama programme in which I named Ricardo and João Havelange as the two FIFA officials who had admitted talking the bribes. I also named FIFA – and here we can only be talking about Blatter – admitting that money due to FIFA from ISL had been diverted in bribes.
Romário: Have you been fair to Ricardo Teixeira?
AJ: Of course. The BBC insists that anybody named like this in a programme is given ample time to respond to allegations and hopefully, grant us an interview. For both programmes naming Teixeira – last November and this May – we sent two emails each time informing him of our allegations and inviting him to participate in the programme to put his side of the story.
Romário: How did he respond?
AJ: He has never replied. He has ignored us and not taken the opportunity to deny anything. Instead he has attacked the BBC and British journalism as ‘corrupt.’ That is no answer to very serious, documented allegations.
Romário: What documents do you have to prove that Teixeira – and Havelange – took bribes?
AJ: For our programme in November last year I obtained a list of 165 bribes paid by ISL to mostly FIFA officials – the $100 million. We showed it on screen – highlighting the names of Teixeira and Havelange. We also got more evidence showing that Teixeira had taken nearly $10 million through a Liectenstein company named Sanud.
Romário: Why was that important?
AJ: In the Senator Alvaro Dias 2001 report on corruption at the CBF he named this foreign company Sanud as being the source of money that went to Teixeira. But he couldn’t find out where Sanud got its money. We found it – many times – in the list of bribes paid by the ISL company. So the money was laundered from Switzerland to Liechtenstein and then to Brazil. It remains a disappointment that prosecutors did not take action over the revelations in the Dias report.
Romário: What happens next?
AJ: We investigated and discovered that in Swiss law it is possible to have the secret police report revealing who got the bribes unsealed. We now have to convince a Swiss court that it is in the public interest to disclose this evidence. It will happen – there is an important legal precedent.
Romário: What are you doing to prove that Teixeira is the bribe taker?
AJ: The BBC and some Swiss media – and I believe a Brazilian newspaper – have begun formal legal proceedings in Switzerland. The public prosecutor in Zug says he is prepared to disclose the evidence but he is being opposed by the guilty men. They are spending large sums on Swiss lawyers to argue against publication.
Part of the process is that we are given copies of the reasons why publication is being blocked. The Swiss lawyers say their clients would suffer ‘negative press coverage.’ Their reputations would be ‘damaged irreparably.’ They might even suffer ‘kidnapping, burglary or robbery.’ These legal letters name FIFA but the other two men are called B2 and Z. From the descriptions given we have additional evidence that they are Teixeira and Havelange.
Romário: How long is it going to take to see the secret report?
AJ: It could take as much as 12 months. The Zug court backed us on May 24 and now the bad guys are appealing to the next level. Eventually it will end up at the Supreme Court in Lausanne and we are confident that, on past form, we will get the documents and the guilty men will be exposed.
Romário: How important is this? The last bribe was paid in early 2001?
AJ: The implications are huge. FIFA and the two Brazilians will be exposed as crooks. The world will learn that the man in charge of the 2014 World Cup is corrupt. The damage toBrazil’s reputation will be immense.
Romário: What should Brazil’s Congress and government do?
AJ: It is time for President Dilma Rousseff to take action to terminate this scandal. My advice is that she should call Teixeira and say, ’Please come to my office – and bring the entire Swiss legal file with you. I want to see that secret report and I want to see all the correspondence where you are trying to suppress the media reporting whatever you are alleged to have done.’
Romário: What if he refuses?
AJ: Then he must be evicted swiftly from any part of organising 2014. And with must go his family and allies. A clean sweep. There is plenty of talent in Brazil to replace them and produce a great tournament on budget.
Romário: What else can be done?
AJ: The Congress should also demand to see these Swiss documents. And the Government, through the Foreign Ministry, should also make application to the Swiss government for the documents to be made public. It is inBrazil’s national interest to know.
Romário: Ricardo Teixeira claims that the BBC is controlled by the British government.
AJ: That is nonsense and he must know this. The BBC is totally independent of any government. You may recall that when we were preparing our programme in November last year British Prime Minister David Cameron attacked us because of the damage we might cause the England bid. He didn’t seem to understand that as England doesn’t pay bribes, we could never win.
Romário: But Ricardo Teixeira also says that your BBC programmes naming him as corrupt are revenge for England not being awarded the 2018 World Cup?
AJ: That’s nonsense. We made our first programme exposing the ISL bribes to FIFA top officials in June 2006! The second programme, about the bribes paid by Germany was screened in 2007 and the first one to name Teixeira was transmitted last November, three days before the votes for 2018 and 2022. Our duty as free and independent British journalists was to warn what would happen in the voting. And it did. And of course we made those programmes to demonstrate to England and the wider world that that the only way to win the right to host the tournament is to pay bribes.
Romário: What else?
AJ: I love visiting my friends in Braziland I look forward to an great tournament in 2014 with Teixeira out of the picture and all the budgets made public – to watch out for corruption. They we will have a great party!
Abaixo segue o programa exibido pela BBC:
Faz-se necessário que tanto a população como o governo brasileiro tome as devidas providências para que os recursos públicos não sejam uma vez mais destinados aos ralos privados da impunidade.
Eduardo Candido Gomes