FIFA to meet with two Puerto Rico soccer officials

Friday, 10 June 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

AFP: FIFA expects to interview Puerto Rico’s two top soccer officials on Thursday as part of an investigation into a corruption scandal.

Members of FIFA’s ethics committee will meet with Eric Labrador, the island’s soccer federation president, and Frank Gautier, its general secretary. It’s part of a series of interviews with Caribbean Football Union officials who allegedly were offered cash bribes to support a FIFA presidential bid.

“This meeting is a continuation of an interview I had with FIFA officials back in early June during a soccer congress in Zurich,” Labrador said on Wednesday. “I can plainly state that the local federation is not under investigation of any kind.”

FIFA recently hired former FBI director Louis Freeh’s investigations agency following allegations that executive committee members Mohamed bin Hammam and Jack Warner offered $40,000 bribes to voters during bin Hammam’s bid for the presidency. Both have been suspended from all soccer activities during the investigation and face a full inquiry, likely next month.

Officials from Puerto Rico arrived in Switzerland on Sunday for the FIFA Congress bearing a check for $40,000.

“I can categorically say that I have not committed any irregularity nor we, as a federation, got involved in any bribery scheme,” Labrador said. “I can’t discuss the matter further because this whole affair is under investigation.”

The scandal surfaced when Chuck Blazer, the U.S. representative on FIFA’s ruling panel, presented evidence, including witness statements from four CFU member countries.