Friday 04 December 2020

Former Dutch Nike director linked to Fifa corruption case

football ballA Dutch former Nike director and business assistant to Dutch national football team manager Guus Hiddink has become embroiled in the Fifa corruption case, according to the Financieele Dagblad.

Cees van Nieuwenhuizen, who persuaded Nike to move its European headquarters to Hilversum in the 1990s, was closely involved in a $160m contract with the Brazilian football federation CBF in 1996; at that time the biggest sports contract ever signed, the FD says.

Van Nieuwenhuizen was the architect of this huge deal and a co-signator of the contract.

According to the American authorities, a further deal was made outside this contract to pay the Brazilian sport marketing group Traffic $40m. Traffic’s José Hawilla has already made a deal with the FBI and pleaded guilty to massive bribery and fraud, the FD says.

Nike, which captured a big role in top football with the deal, says it has done nothing wrong.

Van Nieuwenhuizen would not say if he has been contacted by the FBI, the FD says. In an email reaction he told the paper he understood that Nike is helping the FBI with its enquiries. ‘I do not think it is sensible for me as a pensioner to interfere in that.’

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