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Todt says FIA faces no risk of corruption

June 07, 2015 19:07 IST
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F.I.A. President Jean Todt is seen in the paddock. Photograph: Ker Robertson/Getty Images

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) is in no danger of suffering the sort of corruption scandal currently engulfing world soccer governing body FIFA, its president Jean Todt said on Saturday.

The Paris-based FIA, comprised of 237 sporting and motoring organisations from 142 countries, is the governing body for Formula One and the World Rally Championship as well as other series.

"There is no way that the FIA could have the same problems with corruption that FIFA are experiencing," Frenchman Todt told Russia's Tass news agency on a visit to Moscow for the penultimate round of the Formula E electric series.

Swiss-based FIFA is going through the worst crisis in the organisation's 111-year history after Swiss police arrested a number of high-ranking officials on corruption charges led by U.S. prosecutors.

Swiss authorities have also opened criminal proceedings on suspicion of mismanagement and money laundering over the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.

While FIFA collects billions of dollars in revenue, mostly from sponsorship and television rights for World Cups held every four years, the FIA has no single big cash-generating event.

Formula One generates annual revenues of more than $1.5 billion from races around the world but the commercial rights belong to private equity firm CVC with Bernie Ecclestone running the business and doing the deals.

The revenues are distributed to teams and shareholders, while the FIA sanctions championships and charges fees for entry and for competitor licences.

Ecclestone, who is also a member of FIA's World Motor Sport Council, was involved in a high-profile bribery trial in Germany last year but that was settled with the 84-year-old Briton paying $100 million to preserve his innocence.

The supremo had been accused of channelling cash to jailed BayernLB banker Gerhard Gribkowsky to smooth the sale of a major stake in Formula One to CVC.

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