FIFA Ethics Panel Donates $25,000 Gift Watches to Soccer Charity

  • 48 watches given to FIFA officials by Brazil World Cup backers
  • Watches go to streetfootballworld charity to raise funds

Soccer’s global ethics panel said 48 gift watches -- valued at $25,000 each -- confiscated from top officials after the Brazil World Cup will be given to a charity focused on the grass roots of the sport in the Latin American country.

The Brazilian Soccer Federation said it distributed 65 gift bags containing a Parmigiani Fleurier SA watch to the 28 members of FIFA’s executive board, a representative of each of the 32 competing nations and someone from each of member country of the regional governing body during the 2014 tournament. FIFA’s ethics panel said Thursday that its investigation found only 48 of the timepieces were actually given.

A Parmigiani Fleurier Watch
A Parmigiani Fleurier Watch
Photographer: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

FIFA outlawed expensive gifts as part of its attempt to clean up the organization. Several of the officials who got the bags reported the gifts as required, and several returned the watches. The ethics panel decided in September 2014 not to file charges against the officials who received the gifts as long as they gave the watches to FIFA by the end of October of that year.

The ethics committee “decided that all watches returned to FIFA would now be donated to the international non-profit organization 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 panel said in an e-mailed statement. “The investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee considers the matter to be closed.”

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