Barcelona President Sandro Rosell could be in hot water over money paid to the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF).
According to Brazilian newspaper Estadao, a proportion of the fees paid to the CBF by international sides around the world to play friendly matches against Brazil has found its way into bank accounts registered in Rosell’s name.
The publication claims it has access to documents that show the practice took place when former CBF President Ricardo Teixeira was at the helm, before he was required to quit following allegations of corruption during his 23-year tenure.
Since 2006, ISE, a company with its headquarters in the Cayman Islands, has held the organisational rights for Brazil friendlies, for which it charges a minimum of $1m per game.
The Estadao report alleges ISE sent $10.9m it earned from 24 Brazil friendlies to the Uptrend Development Company based in New Jersey, USA, and into to an account in the name of Alexandre R. Feliu, the real name of Sandro Rosell i Feliu.
Rosell, a former Nike representative in Brazil, is understood to be a personal friend of Teixeira and is under investigation by the Brazilian public prosecutor for alleged fraud.
If found guilty, he could face up to eight years in prison for falsifying documents and gaining financially from contracts he was not granted relating to a friendly between Brazil and Portugal in Brasilia back in 2008.
The prosecutor is understood to want the return of €3.5m that Alianto Marketing Ltd, owned by Rosell, was allegedly paid for promoting the game without a proper bidding process being involved.
At the time there were also allegations of over-billing of air tickets and hotel stays during the friendly, with prosecutors claiming most of the cost for organising it ended up being paid for by the local football federation instead of Alianto.