Long prison sentences demanded for FIFA’s former media partners
11 March 2008
ZUG, Switzerland – Swiss prosecutors called Tuesday for long prison sentences of between three and four-and-a-half years for six former ISL executives at the beginning of their trial for fraud in the city of Zug.
The now defunct ISL looked after FIFA’s television and marketing rights for 20 years. The executives have pleaded not guilty to the charges, which include fraud, damaging creditors, embezzlement and forgery of documents.
Prosecutors have also been investigating claims that ISL heads bribed sports officials to win lucrative television contracts.
The ISMM Group (International Sports Media and Marketing and its subsidiary International Sport and Leisure ISL) was formed in 1982.
The company looked after the media rights for World Cups as well as broadcasting rights for tennis, motorsport and national football leagues.
The company collapsed in May 2001 with debts of hundreds of millions of dollars.
"State prosecutors made clear last year that the charges are only against ISMM employees," said FIFA spokesman Andreas Herren. "FIFA officials are not connected to this investigation."
[Copyright dpa 2008]