FIFA's ethics committee is investigating charitable donations made by presidential candidate Chung Mong-Joon.
Bloomberg Business reports, according to letters from the Asian Football Confederation, that FIFA has begun looking into instances of Chung sending money to Haiti and Pakistan (sums of $500,000 and $400,000 for earthquake and flood relief, respectively). The donations were reportedly meant to be used for soccer development projects.
In April, FIFA said its ethics committee had begun investigating money sent to Haiti in 2010, which included $250,000 of its own dollars. In February 2012, the Trinidad and Tobago football federation claimed funds sent to Haiti went into a bank account controlled by Jack Warner, the former FIFA vice president who was among the 14 FIFA officials and executives indicted in May on corruption charges.
The investigation into Pakistan was prompted by the Asian Football Confederation's request, suspecting the money had not been used for its intended purposes. At the time the donation was made in 2011, Chung was up for re-election for his seat on FIFA's governing board, a race he lost to Jordan's Prince Ali bin al-Hussein.
Chung reportedly sent letters in 2010 to fellow members of the executive committee with designs on creating a large-scale fund to help globally distribute money for soccer development. Bloomberg reports, via a FIFA report on World Cup bids, that the letters appeared as an attempt to influence votes for Chung's native Korea to host the event in 2022.
Chung, 63 is the second-largest shareholder in Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., the world's largest shipbuilding company. He was a member of FIFA's executive committee for 17 years, served as an honorary vice president after being voted off the committee in 2011 and announced his formal bid to succeed longtime president Sepp Blatter on Monday. Blatter stepped down in wake of the May corruption charges and subsequent investigation, but has not been charged.
According to the report, a representative from Pakistan said the project there had yet to begin because of a lack of land to build on, adding that local government has not agreed to provide free space.
- Jeremy Woo