By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Former FIFA president João Havelange and former CBF president Ricardo Teixeira received millions of dollars from the now defunct sports marketing company ISL, a Swiss court revealed yesterday. Teixeira pocketed US$12.4 million while Havelange took US$1.5 to favor FIFA’s former marketing partner.

Former FIFA president João Havelange, Brazil News
João Havelange (Brazilian) was FIFA president from 1974 until 1998, photo by José Cruz/ABr.

International Sports and Leisure, to give ISL its full name, paid the money between 1992 and 1997 to gain the exclusive commercialization rights to the World Cup. The company subsequently collapsed owing debts in excess of US$300 million.

Six former executives were absolved of any wrongdoing in 2008, but revelations brought by the BBC incriminating Havelange and Teixeira could spell trouble for the pair in the near future. Both have retreated from the limelight in recent months.

In December 2001, alleging health problems, the now 96-year-old Brazilian Havelange stepped back from the Executive International Olympic Committee to avoid investigation. In March 2012 Ricardo Teixeira resigned from the CBF and from his position with the 2014 World Cup Organizing Committee, also citing health deterioration and is now living with his family in Miami, Florida.

The exit of Ricardo Teixiera, president of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) from 1989 until 2012, was seen by many of Brazil’s sporting press as the green light Brazilian football needed to move to a system more compatible with the world calendar. After over two decades, some feel an opportunity for transformation has finally been presented.

In May 2012 new oversight was introduced by FIFA and the Brazil Ministry of Sport by announcing that the Brazilian government will have a permanent member within the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the 2014 World Cup, as a measure to help avoid problems and speed up preparations.

Read more (in Portuguese).

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