Author: Nicola Sharp 21 March 2023
Nicola Sharp of financial crime specialists Rahman Ravelli explains that the allegations are far from unique.
The major Mexican broadcasting company Grupo Televisa has settled a huge complaint relating to FIFA bribery accusations.
The broadcaster is to pay $95 million in a settlement with a group of US investors. Those investors had argued that a bribery scandal had damaged Televisa’s brand and its stock price, which has fallen 50% in the past 12 months.
Televisa was accused of bribing FIFA officials to secure World Cup broadcasting rights for the 2018, 2022, 2026, and 2030 tournaments. The broadcaster had denied the allegations. The allegations had arisen from a case that was brought against 21st Century Fox, which was also accused of bribing individuals within FIFA to win media World Cup rights.
The lawsuit had been brought five years ago by participants in Canada’s Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Pension Plan (CAAT), which holds shares in Televisa. CAAT claimed it had been defrauded and that investors lost hundreds of millions of dollars through a scheme in which Televisa paid bribes through a Swiss subsidiary for the World Cup broadcasting rights.
FIFA’s history of alleged corruption is nothing new. There can be little doubt that these allegations will not be the last.
FIFA itself has been at the centre of repeated bribery allegations; including claims that Qatari officials bought votes to ensure its controversial bid to host the 2022 World Cup was successful. Similar allegations surrounded Russia’s 2018 hosting of the World Cup.
Nicola is known for her fraud, civil recovery, arbitration and business crime expertise, her experience of leading the largest financial disputes and multinational investigations and her skills in devising preventative measures and conducting internal investigations for corporates.