A new and potentially very damaging turn has taken place in the ongoing FIFA corruption scandal. It was reported that Miguel Maduro, the former chairman of FIFA’s governance committee said Saturday at a British parliamentary hearing that, if asked, he would provide specific accusations of top FIFA officials pressuring him to ignore regulations. It could certainly lead to some troubling questions for current FIFA’s president, Gianni Infantino.
But Maduro, a former Portuguese government minister, was fired earlier this year by Infantino only eight months into his job as the head of the governance board at the disgraced organization. Maduro claimed he was terminated for his refusal to bow to “pressure from senior officials to ignore FIFA rules when it came to the eligibility of certain powerful executives.” FIFA itself has made no comment on Maduro’s proposed testimony or indicated that it would try to block the parliamentary inquiry.
Given all the negative information that has come out about FIFA since the original arrests back in May 2015 of multiple officials for acceptance of bribery and other forms of corruption, Maduro’s testimony could be quite damaging to the organization. Indeed, The Man From FCPA would ask if this could potentially lead to more indictments by U.S. or Swiss authorities or lead to a new round of criminal investigations by countries such as Great Britain. Such information would also discredit FIFA’s claim that it has cleaned its own house and does not need greater government oversight going forward.