Football administrators paid themselves $171M in bank transfers

The 67th Congress of CONMEBOL (South American Football Confederation) was held in Chile on Wednesday Source: CONMEBOL

The leaders of South America's football confederation (CONMEBOL) transferred $171 million between 2000 and 2015 to personal accounts, suspicious accounts, or unauthorised third-party accounts, according to an audit released Wednesday by Ernst & Young.

The 67th Congress of CONMEBOL saw a renewed focus on a return to transparency and accountability, releasing an audit by Ernst & Young into transactions from the 2000 to 2015 CONMEBOL administration.

According to the audit presented to the annual CONMEBOL congress in the Chilean capital, the confederation's former president Nicolas Leoz transferred $36 million to his personal accounts. Leoz was the president for 27 years until resigning in 2013 for what he claimed were health reasons.

The audit also found $78 million in payments "to third parties without adequate documentation," payments of $44 million to "unidentified accounts," and $13 million to "suspicious third-parties."

"We had said that we would have four pillars, and the first two pillars were clear accounts and accountability," said Alejandro Dominguez, the president of CONMEBOL, who commissioned the audit last year. "Today we are accountable to the leaders and the whole world of football."

Leoz, 88, is one of three ex-presidents of CONMEBOL accused on corruption charges by the United States Department of Justice. He is currently in Paraguay fighting extradition to the United States.

The South American body has been plagued by corruption, which was exposed two years ago during the FIFA scandal. Leoz's two successors as president of the confederation, Eugenio Figueredo and Juan Angel Napout, have already been arrested on corruption charges.

Source AAP