Former boss of FIFA's ex-marketing agency faces trial

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Berne( Switzerland) Nov 21: The Swiss court investigating the collapse of FIFA's former marketing agency ISL has confirmed that ISL's former chairman Jean-Marie Weber is among those facing trial on fraud charges.

Prosecutors in the Swiss canton of Zug, where ISL was based, charged an unspecified number of former executives in March and refused to name them, in accordance with Swiss privacy laws.

The charges include embezzlement, fraud, fraudulent bankruptcy, harming creditors and the falsification of documents.

Weber's involvement in the case was confirmed today when the court issued an accreditation document officially naming him for the first time.

The document, sent to Reuters by the court, said criminal proceedings would be brought ''against Jean-Marie Weber and other persons concerning embezzlement etc''.

No date has yet been set for the trial.

The International Sport and Leisure (ISL) agency collapsed in May 2001, with estimated debts of around 300 million dollars.

The state prosecutors said in March that their own investigations were centred upon debts of at least 100 million dollars caused by alleged criminal behaviour on the part of the company's executives.

The court case is expected to reveal whether ISL paid bribes to sports officials in order to secure lucrative contracts.

ISL managed the marketing and television rights of world soccer's governing body FIFA for more than 20 years.

The Zug prosecutors have said that the charges relate only to ISL executives and that no former or current FIFA officials have been charged.

Reuters>

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