FIFA ethics committee donates 48 luxury watches to charity

FIFA’s ethics committee donates 48 gift watches valued $26,600 each to non-profit organization 'streetfootballworld'

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Fifa president Sepp Blatter showered with cash by Lee Nelson during a press conference in Zurich, Switzerland.

FIFA's ethics committee has donated 48 luxury watches it recovered from soccer officials to a non-profit organization.

During a FIFA congress organized on the eve of last year's World Cup in Brazil, the Brazilian Confederation (CBF) distributed gift bags with the watches to football officials including members of FIFA's executive committee.

The CBF initially said the Parmigiani watches were given to a group of 65 officials but the investigatory chamber of the ethics committee said it found evidence that several of them did not receive the watch.

After ruling they were unauthorized gifts, the investigatory chamber of the committee decided against opening disciplinary proceedings against the officials who had received the watch on the condition that they returned it.

"After contacting all potential recipients, 48 watches were returned to the investigatory chamber of the ethics committee," FIFA said in a statement, without mentioning if some of the watches were still missing.

FIFA earlier said that the Brazilians obtained the watches from sponsor Parmigiani for $8,750 each. But an appraisal found that the watches had a market value of 25,000 Swiss francs ($26,600).

The watches will be given to an organization named 'streetfootballworld', "who will directly invest all resources generated through the sale of the watches into initiatives across Brazil that use football to drive social change."

"The investigatory chamber of the ethics committee considers the matter to be closed," FIFA said.