BERNE, Sept 18 (Reuters) - FIFA executive committee members are among more than 50 football officials who have been told to return watches, worth an estimated $25,000 each, which were handed out as gifts by the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) during the World Cup.
FIFA’s ethics committee said in a statement that the gifts breached the organisation’s code of ethics and should not have been accepted. However, it said it would not instigate proceedings against officials who return the watches by Oct. 24.
“(The) CBF should not have offered the watches, and those who received gift bags should have promptly checked whether the items inside were appropriate and, upon discovering the watch, either returned it or....reported the matter,” said FIFA’s ethics committee in a statement.
“In an effort to resolve this matter expeditiously, the investigatory chamber (of the ethics committee) will not pursue further formal ethics proceedings in this matter against officials who submit the Parmigiani watch they received from CBF.....by no later than October 24, 2014.”
The ethics committee said the CBF distributed 65 gift bags, each containing a Parmigiani watch, to a group comprising the officials on the FIFA executive committee, a representative from each of the 32 national associations taking part in the World Cup and representatives from the South American national associations. (Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond)