KPMG has resigned as auditor of Fifa 

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KPMG Switzerland has resigned as auditor of Fifa, the world football governing body which has become mired in a corruption scandal following claims that millions of pounds have been paid to its top executives as part of corrupt deals stretching back decades

The firm has audited Fifa since 1999, but confirmed in a statement that it tendered its resignation on June 9 with immediate effect. No reason was given, with the spokesman citing ‘ongoing fiduciary duties to Fifa’ as the reason it was not possible to comment further.

The move is believed to have followed an internal review KPMG launched in September examining the Fifa audits.

In a statement on its website, Fifa said it acknowledged the decision of KPMG to step down as Fifa’s auditor after more than a decade of service.

The statement said: ‘Fifa welcomes this change as it gives the organisation the opportunity to work with a new audit firm, which will be appointed soon – initially by the Fifa council as a temporary arrangement before a formal appointment will be made at the next congress in May 2017, in accordance with the Fifa statutes.’

The Swiss-based organisation has been in turmoil since last summer, when the US Department of Justice indicated 14 current and former Fifa official and associates on charges of ‘rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted’ corruption following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). There were claims of racketeering and  money laundering, with allegations that ‘at least two generations of soccer officials have abused their positions of trust to acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks’.

The Swiss authorities have also launched a criminal inquiry into alleged bribes paid to football executives. Former Fifa president Sepp Blatter faces investigation over claims of possible criminal mismanagement and misappropriation of Fifa money, but denies any wrongdoing. Both he and Uefa resident Michel Platini have been banned for eight years from all football-related activities by Fifa’s ethics committee.

The football body now has a new council and incoming president Gianni Infantino announced he  has initiated a comprehensive financial audit of Fifa’s finance function including its processes and procedures.

Infantino said: ‘In light of the serious allegations involving financial transactions outlined by the Swiss and US authorities, it is essential that the financial function at Fifa be externally reviewed and thoroughly reformed. The appointment of a new auditor, coupled with the appointments of a new chief financial officer and a new chief compliance officer, are essential steps in this process.’

Fifa’s previous finance director, Markus Kattner, who was with the organisation for 13 years, was sacked last month. In a statement at the time, the governing body said an ongoing internal investigation had ‘uncovered breaches of fiduciary responsibilities in connection with his employment’. These are believed to relate to a secret bonus scheme that paid out millions of dollars over a period of years.

Source: CCH Daily

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