Taking back time: FIFA says officials must return expensive watches


The FIFA ethics committee has ruled that luxury gifts given to its 28 executives, plus one official from each of the 32 nations who qualified for the World Cup this summer, must be returned or proceedings will be launched against them.

[RELATED: Blatter to run for FIFA president]

It has been revealed that at a pre-World Cup congress the Brazilian soccer federation distributed watches worth over $25,000 to officials. The watches in question are from sponsor Parmigiani and were included in a ‘gift bag’ of goodies. Imagine opening a small bag and seeing that beauty in there? FIFA’s exec. committee couldn’t believe their luck.

However, their luck has run out as an appraisal has now deemed the gifts as inappropriate and the officials have until Oct. 24 to return the watches.

Those timepieces will then be donated to a non-profit organization or “organizations committed to corporate social responsibility projects in Brazil” according to FIFA.

This isn’t so much a scandal, but it is a look into the world of what being on the FIFA executive committee is like. With internal investigations still ongoing as to bribery and corruption during the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, plus money laundering from officials and plenty of other issues, world soccer’s governing body always seems to get a bad rep.

Doesn’t it have more important things to worry about than collecting second-hand watches dished out by sponsors?