|SCANDAL: Football's governing body has launched a bizarre legal bid|
FIFA has launched a bizarre legal bid to claim back "tens of mllions of dollars" swindled by its own fraudulent officials.
In legal papers filed in New York, FIFA says 41 former officials and marketing executives took bribes and stole money from football’s governing body.
The organisation has demanded a return of salaries and payment of damages.The legal papers also reveal FIFA believes South Africa paid a bribe of $10m (£7m) to win the right to host the 2010 World Cup.
Ex-officials who have pleaded guilty have already agreed to pay more than $190 million in forfeiture, according to U.S. authorities.
A FIFA audit read: "The defendants grossly abused their positions of trust to enrich themselves, have deeply tarnished the FIFA brand and impaired FIFA's ability to use its resources for positive actions throughout the world.
"These funds should be used to compensate the victims of the defendants' crimes, particularly FIFA and its member associations and confederations."In all, 42 sports officials, executives and corporate entities have been charged in the United States under U.S. bribery and money laundering laws.
The defendants include former members of FIFA's all-powerful executive committee and former heads of national and continental governing bodies.
FIFA's ethics committee banned Sepp Blatter for six years, and last month FIFA elected a new president, Gianni Infantino, and enacted changes to its governance structure in an attempt to stamp out corruption.
FIFA also said it had incurred substantial legal costs and was entitled to restitution for its attorney fees and similar costs that directly flowed from the investigations.In a statement, new FIFA president Gianni Infantino said: “The defendants diverted this money not just from FIFA but from players, coaches and fans worldwide who benefit from the programmes that FIFA runs to develop and promote football.
"These dollars were meant to build football fields, not mansions and pools; to buy football kits, not jewellery and cars; and to fund youth player and coach development, not to underwrite lavish lifestyles for football and sports marketing executives."When FIFA recovers this money, it will be directed back to its original purpose, for the benefit and development of international football.
"The convicted defendants abused the positions of trust they held at FIFA and other international football organisations and caused serious and lasting damage to FIFA, its member associations and the football community.
"The monies they pocketed belonged to global football and were meant for the development and promotion of the game."FIFA as the world governing body of football wants that money back and we are determined to get it no matter how long it takes."
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