Dutch FA reviewing 1996 sponsorship deal with Nike

The U.


S. Federal Bureau of Investigation said it had found evidence of millions of dollars in bribes paid for a 1996 sponsorship deal of Brazil’s national team. Nike has said it is cooperating with the investigation and that the indictment does not accuse the company of crimes.

The accusations are one in a series of corruption allegations that have put world football and the business around it under scrutiny.

KNVB spokesman Chris van Nijnatten said in-house lawyers would review documents relating to a two decade-old deal, under which Nike became the official training sponsor of the Dutch national team in 1996, taking over from the national lottery.

Nike did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.

Van Nijnatten declined to disclose the size of the contract. Nike still sponsors the national team with the deal having been renewed twice, most recently in 2014 for 12 years. The renewals are not under investigation, the KNVB said.

He said the KNVB did not regard Nike or any of its officials as suspects.

“We are doing this because so much is happening at the moment,” he said. “There is no lack of confidence. Nike is not a suspect. Investigating this is a matter of professionalism.”

World football has been rocked by corruption allegations since Swiss police swooped on a Zurich hotel last month, arresting a host of top officials from world soccer authority FIFA.

Long-serving FIFA head Sepp Blatter was eventually forced to announce he would resign days after being re-elected for a fifth term in the wake of the arrests.

(Reporting by Thomas Escritt; editing by Anna Willard)


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