Dublin, June 5 (IANS): Sepp Blatter, who recently resigned as FIFA president, served as a board member for a fictitious company founded in Ireland in 2001 in order to profit from its tax benefits and to launder millions of euros to the headquarters in Switzerland, a media report has claimed.
'The Irish Independent' reported on Thursday that Blatter appeared for seven years on the list of directors of the FIFA Ireland Ltd., until its "voluntary liquidation" in 2008, reports Efe.
The paper pointed out that the company did, in fact, have an office in Dublin, but no workers were "directly employed" by the firm.
An analysis of the accounts filed over the course of its years in business showed that it had a combined turnover of 172.7 million Swiss francs ($184.9 million) from the last four months of 2001 to the end of 2006.
A FIFA statement sent on Wednesday night to the Irish Independent claimed that it had established the company to facilitate the signing of licence agreements with its Japanese commercial affiliates, "in particular with respect to the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan."
FIFA also stressed that Blatter "did not have or exercise any operational function for this company".
It added that neither the Ireland soccer association, FAI, nor its officials gained financially from FIFA Ireland Ltd., while the FAI corroborated that it made "no financial gain or loss from this company".