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FIFA makes bold claim for corruption damages

New FIFA President Gianni Infantino has not long been in the job, but he has already got plenty on his plate. That has not stopped him from trying to clean up the mess, though.

FIFA has demanded tens of millions of dollars in damages from the "sordid" officials now facing charges in the United States over mass bribery scandals that have rocked world football.

In the 22-page claim, FIFA admits for the first time that bribes were paid in connection with the 1998 and 2010 World Cups.

"Over many years, the defendants grossly abused their positions of trust to enrich themselves, while causing significant direct and proximate harm to FIFA," a resitution request states.

FIFA's request for restitution has been made to the US Attorney's Office.

It claims damages from former Executive Committee members and officials in regional confedertaions, including Chuck Blazer, Jack Warner, Jeffrey Webb and two companies, for compensation, travel and other costs.

Football's governing body estimates that "tens of millions of dollars were diverted from the football community illegally through bribery, kickbacks and corrupt schemes carried out by the defendants."

This amount is likely to increase at the investigation continues.

FIFA also stated that South Africa paid a nine-million-euro ($10 million) bribe to secure votes for the 2010 World Cup. Both South Africa and former FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke have strongly denied any wrongdoing.

jh/apc (AFP, dpa)

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