The trial of FIFA’s former marketing partners ISL is set to get underway in the Swiss city of Zug on Tuesday.
Six former executives of the defunct firm are facing charges ranging from embezzlement to the falsification of documents.
ISL managed FIFA’s marketing and television rights for more than 20 years, before its collapse in May 2001.
In the wake of the company’s bankruptcy 11 members of FIFA’s executive committee filed a criminal complaint of financial mismanagement against their president Sepp Blatter.
The complaint was thrown out by public prosecutors in December 2002 who said the action was “bordering on false representation” and noted that the 11 had collectively approved of Blatter’s business decisions.
Blatter remains confident his organisation will not be affected by the latest proceedings.
“We have nothing to fear,” Blatter told.
“We started the court case against ISL because we lost money that should have been channelled to us.
“Official declarations by the court in Zug have said clearly that no officials or staff members of FIFA are sitting on the bench of the accused.
“It is only some journalists who think it is a trial against FIFA, naturally FIFA is touched by the case because it was our marketing agent. We look forward to the trial. It will not disturb the work and the responsilbilites of football, or FIFA.”
The criminal investigation began when FIFA filed a fraud complaint against two individuals following ISL’s collapse. Although they subsequently withdrew the complaint, the case was taken up by Swiss prosecutors, resulting in Tuesday’s court case.