Saturday, October 24, 2015

A New FIFA Whistleblower Emerges

With three Tweets yesterday, Scott Burnett, a former FIFA employee, alleges that while he worked at FIFA and had responsibility for writing the minutes of FIFA ExCo meetings,he was instructed to "misrepresent discussions."

Burnett's name appears on FIFA documents, such as this one from 2004 (in PDF), where he is identified as a translator. He later worked as an assistant to FIFA's Secretary General, Jerome Valcke. Overall, Burnett was a FIFA employee from May, 2001 to July, 2010.

If his allegations bear out, then it would implicate in some degree of wrongdoing every FIFA ExCo member of the period who voted to approve official minutes which misrepresented ExCo activities. The exact nature of any such wrongdoing, as is often the case with FIFA, is likely to be complicated by the fact that FIFA had various ethics guidelines during the period and is incorporated as an association under Swiss law. Under US law for non-profits organizations, accurate meeting minutes are an important part of an organizations fiduciary duty (see, e.g., this blog post).

With his three Tweets, Burnett has called the attention of the world's media and various FIFA investigators. Other FIFA whistleblowers have not had it easy, and he is likely not the last one we will see.

Stay tuned . . .

(HT @sportingintel)


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