FIFA’s former marketing group ISL has been accused of channeling millions in bribes through a Liechtenstein foundation.
Prosecutors allege that six executives of ISL paid about $18 million to people involved in negotiating rights deals for major sports events.
ISL, FIFA’s marketing partner for almost two decades, left an estimated debt of $300 million when it collapsed in 2001.
The bankruptcy led to clashes between FIFA and UEFA, which questioned FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s handling of marketing deals.
The six are charged with embezzlement, fraud, fraudulent bankruptcy, damaging creditors and falsification of documents, and could face up to 4 1/2 years in prison if convicted.
In total, the criminal mishandling at ISL amounted to more than $98 million, prosecutors said.
Shortly after the bankruptcy, FIFA lodged a criminal complaint against ISL over irregularities in accounts. They later withdrew the complaint but began a civil case to recover $122 million it claimed it was owed.