Five of Fifa’s most extravagant expenses claims
Fifa's more elaborate expense claims make our MPs' look worryingly sober. Mischa Frankl-Duval examines five of the most outlandish.
Chances are, you couldn't slip any of these past your boss. But then, you don't work for Sepp Blatter.
A New York penthouse for a cat menagerie: $6,000 a month
Blazer a member of the Fifa executive committee from 1996 to 2013 pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $15m of Fifa's money. Playing the role of cartoon supervillain to a tee, he managed to spend $6,000 a month on an apartment for his unruly cats in Trump Towers, the same building that housed the offices of Concacaf (The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football).
Hollywood propaganda sexing up' Sepp: £16m
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Fifa put £16m towards United Passions, a film glorifying the history of football's governing body. Blatter himself was played by Tim Roth, star of Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. Blatter reportedly demanded a number of changes to the film's script, but was satisfied with its casting.
"In this case the casting was well done," said Blatter, upon meeting Roth, twice voted the sexiest actor alive by readers of Glamour. "We have some common, let's say, qualities."
Cashing in on disaster: $500,000+
But Yves Jean-Bart, head of the Haitian Football Association, claimed only to have seen a fraction of that money reach his country, according to Bloomberg.
Warner's breakdown of the finances showed payments of more than $229,000 for emergency supplies, made to a company in Warner's native Trinidad. But that company doesn't seem to exist, says Bloomberg.
Fifa funds were also spent bringing two Haitian football teams to Trinidad (and other countries) for showpiece matches. More than $366,000 was spent on the trips. The itinerary made, coincidentally we're sure, by a Warner family travel agency included lodging at Warner's conference centre, a centre built with Fifa money.
For good measure, Warner claimed to have paid $30,000 dollars towards medical school fees incurred by Jean-Bart's daughter. Yet Christina Jean-Bart claimed she never received any money, and never attended medical school. Five years on, the Fifa investigation continues.
Cash for votes
Payments totalling close to $750,000 were also made to Warner's sons, and a further $400,000 to one of his employees. This money was paid via Kemco, an electro-mechanical contractor owned by Mohammed Bin Hamamm, a former Fifa executive committee member.
The payments were allegedly made shortly after the Gulf state was confirmed as the host of the 2022 World Cup. The decision to host the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has been met with widespread cynicism owing to the country's appalling record on human rights, its lack of footballing history, and punishingly hot climate. (A quite staggering Washington Post infographicdoing the rounds compares the World Cup-related death toll in Qatar with construction deaths relating to other sporting events from around the world.)
At the first meeting of Fifa's technical committee, Taylor claims to have learned of this committee-wide dodgy dealing: "We formed a queue to claim our money", said Taylor, "and I was asked by a colleague on the committee what I was claiming for. My 750 Swiss francs', I said, to which the reply was a laughing query: What about your flights? Your taxis? And anything else you can get away with?'"
Taylor alleges that this money was to be hidden in a Swiss bank account, amounting soon enough to "a more than tidy sum of money".