Banks and trust offices should pay more attention to the risk of involvement in money laundering and corruption related to football, the Dutch central bank said on Friday.
This means they should do more research into clients who are involved with football and the origins of their money, the bank said in a new report.
Publications by whistleblower website Football Leaks and FBI investigation into corruption within world football body Fifa show that the football sector is vulnerable to financial abuse, the central bank says.
‘The football sector involves large sums of money,’ the report said. ‘Combined with a closed culture, possible conflicts of interest and the possible use of corporate structures to hide money, this makes the sector vulnerable to money laundering and other risks to integrity.’
Particular caution is needed when it comes to the transfer market and the role of agents, as well as hosting contracts for tournaments. The takeover of clubs by rich private individuals is an additional example of where extra caution is needed, the central bank said.
The bank’s research showed 17 of the 19 banks and trust offices it investigated were not sufficiently aware of the risks which football clients can bring, despite widespread media attention for the problems.