FIFA legal bills into corruption in football hit £80m mark

FIFA legal bills into corruption in football hit £80m mark

FIFA are understood to have run up legal fees of around £80million during the in-house investigations into football corruption and fraud that started after the Zurich raids in May 2015.

The probe was carried out by expensive American lawyers Quinn Emanuel and Swiss counterparts NKF. They announced their reports were completed on Friday.

They have been handed over to the Swiss attorney general’s office and also made available to the US Justice Department, with the contents kept secret because of two ongoing criminal investigations into FIFA.  

FIFA are expected to publish their financial report for 2016 within the next fortnight in which legal fees will be included. 

But considering there was a rise of £24m in legal costs in 2015, when the 22-month inquiry had only been running for six months, £80m looks conservative.

A source familiar with FIFA’s investigation tried to justify the massive expense by pointing to the report running to more than 1,300 pages, with 20,000 pieces of evidence and the two legal teams examining more than two and a half million documents.  

Olympic rowing champion Katherine Grainger is thought to have been asked to apply for the UK Sport chairman’s role being relinquished by Rod Carr.

Grainger would fit with the current vogue to promote women where possible to senior sports positions, but she has some doubts about her suitability because of a lack of leadership experience.  

Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick is prepared to be more transparent in killing a conspiracy theory among Arsenal supporters — that he funded the ‘In Arsene We Trust’ banner flown above The Hawthorns last month — than he is about Wenger’s future.

Hong Kong-based Arsenal fans reportedly paid for the pro-Wenger banner, and, bizarrely, it was organised via Keswick’s merchant bank Jardines, based in Hong Kong. 

But Sir Chips said: ‘My family are Scottish and we don’t waste our money.’  

British Cycling, the poster sport for Team GB medal success, is in meltdown amid continued reports of unrest due to the win-at-all-costs regimes in other Olympic sports. 

So it does not seem the best of times for Chelsea Warr and Simon Timson, current and previous performance directors for UK Sport, to publish their book The Talent Lab — due to launch next month — about the strategies behind the British gold rush.  

Kante the budget star

N’Golo Kante is on the verge of inspiring back-to-back Premier League title wins with different clubs. Yet on a recent trip back to watch his former team Leicester in the Champions League, Kante stayed in a budget hotel and travelled standard class on the train. 

He drives a Mini and lives alone in a small rented flat. Quite unlike your stereotype flash football superstar. 

As the sports governance code comes into force on Saturday, its two major enforcers, Minister for Sport Tracey Crouch and Sport England chairman Nick Bitel, are not singing from the same hymn sheet.

Crouch could not speak highly enough of FA chairman Greg Clarke’s role in bringing to the table FA reforms his predecessors could not get near to delivering. 

Yet Bitel is more concerned about whether Clarke, who joined the FA shortly after leaving the Football League, fulfils the independent director code criteria. 

‘We cannot waiver our approach just because Greg has done a good job,’ said Bitel.   

England batting prodigy Haseeb Hameed has joined agent Luke Sutton’s Activate Management stable that also looks after Jimmy Anderson.  

Wembley have fallen well behind schedule in completing nearly £10m worth of repairs to the roof with original contractors Multiplex paying most of the bill.

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