Switzerlang to give Fifa a long Look - New-York-Interview with Roland Rino Büchel
14. Dezember 2014
Erschienen in: New York Daily News

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/soccer/switzerland-give-fifa-long-article-1.2043804

Switzerland to give FIFA long look

Recent bribery scandals involving executives of FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, inspired Swiss legislators to expand an existing law that compels banks to monitor transactions of 'politically exposed persons' and report suspicious activity to law enforcement. The law goes into effect in 100 days.

Switzerland will soon start giving the leaders of FIFA and the International Olympic Committee the same type of financial scrutiny it applies to Third World dictators keeping money in the nation’s famously secretive banks.

Recent bribery scandals involving executives of FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, inspired Swiss legislators to expand an existing law that compels banks to monitor transactions of “politically exposed persons” and report suspicious activity to law enforcement. The law goes into effect in 100 days.

The law, which passed through the National Council by a 128-62 vote Friday, covers not just the leaders of 65 governing bodies but also their executive committees and even lower-level deputies at the organizations — anyone who might conceivably be susceptible to bribery or money laundering. “We’d rather go too far than not far enough,” Roland Buechel, a member of Switzerland’s national council, told the Daily News on Friday.

FIFA’s legendary corruption problems have burst into view in recent months as several members of its decision-making executive committee (known as the “Ex-co”) have been caught in bribery schemes. Ex-co members Jack Warner of Trinidad and Mohammed bin Hammam of Qatar are among those the super-wealthy Zurich-based organization has expelled.

Last month The News reported that American former Ex-co member Chuck Blazer, in trouble for tax problems in the U.S., began cooperating with an FBI investigation of the Ex-co, secretly recording several international sports officials during the 2012 Summer Games in London.

FIFA’s president, Sepp Blatter, has struggled to address the findings of former U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia, who investigated FIFA’s surprising decision to send the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments to Russia and Qatar, respectively. Garcia’s report remains confidential despite global calls for its release. The report has been delivered to a Swiss prosecutor’s office.

Buechel said a separate piece of proposed legislation in Switzerland could do even more to clean up the lucrative business of running international sports. “The most important part will be the next one, that says corruption in sports will be a criminal offense,” says Buechel. “If a prosecutor knows about it, he will have to act.”

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