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Football turmoil KPMG examines Swiss audit branch over FIFA

Since 1999, KPMG Switzerland has been responsible for auditing FIFA's financial reports

(Keystone)

The global consultancy firm KPMG is carrying out an internal review of its Swiss member that is responsible for the audit of the multi-billion-dollar umbrella FIFA organization, a Swiss newspaper has reported. 

KPMG Switzerland spokesman Andreas Hammer confirmed to SonntagsZeitung newspaper on Sunday that services the Swiss unit performed for FIFA were being reviewed, as agreed with its parent company, KPMG International. 

In May, the US Department of Justice indicted 14 football and marketing officials in a $150 million bribery and racketeering conspiracy that has shaken the world football governing body. The Swiss Attorney General’s Office is also investigating allegations of corruption over how FIFA awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosting rights to Russia and Qatar. 

Since 1999, KPMG Switzerland has been responsible for auditing FIFA's financial reports, SonntagsZeitung reported. Should it discover irregularities during such a review, an auditor is bound by law to report them. 

Hammer declined to comment on the allegations against FIFA officials by the US, the SonntagsZeitung said. He nonetheless stated that those charges were essentially focused on activities that had "no direct effect on the statutory financial reports of FIFA”.

"While the allegations predominantly concern activities which do not directly impact the FIFA financial statements, a review of the audit work performed by KPMG Switzerland is being conducted in consultation with KPMG International," Hammer told Reuters via email on Sunday.

KPMG Switzerland said national football associations and regional confederations around the world do not form part of the financial statements of FIFA and are accordingly not audited by KPMG Switzerland.

National associations and regional confederations choose their auditor locally, KPMG said.

According to FIFA's 2014 annual report, however, the organisation said it arranges a central audit of 40 member associations and one confederation each year through KPMG "to verify that all financial assistance payments are in compliance."

Last week football’s governing body was hit by further turmoil when it put Jerome Valcke, its secretary general and second-ranking official, on leave after an ex-footballer raised allegations he was involved in a plan to resell 2014 World Cup tickets for a lucrative profit.

Frenchman Valcke,  FIFA President Sepp Blatter's number two since 2007, was placed on leave just hours after a ticket-dealer and ex-footballer Benny Alon made the allegations about the ticket-selling plan at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Valcke denied the allegations in a statement from his US lawyer. FIFA Deputy Secretary General Markus Kattner is taking over operational matters.

In a written message to its 209 member associations on Friday, Blatter said they would "come through this difficult situation together". 

swissinfo.ch with agencies

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