FIFA: Soccer governing body donates watches worth $1.4M to charity

    The money raised from auctioning FIFA's watches will go to local soccer communities in Brazil.

    Story highlights

    • FIFA donates $1.4M worth of watches to charity
    • The watches were gifted to executives at the FIFA Congress in Brazil in 2014
    • The charity -- streetfootballworld -- plans to auction the watches

    (CNN)World soccer governing body FIFA might not be able to turn back the clock on a wave of scandals but it's hoping donating watches worth an estimated $1.4m to charity will bring some closure -- on one chapter of its recent checkered history at least.

    Goodie bags gifted by the Brazilian Football Association to VIP attendees of a FIFA Congress in Sao Paulo ahead of the 2014 World Cup included Parmigiani watches worth $30,000 each.
      Subsequently FIFA's independent Ethics Committee insisted the watches be handed back, ruling they broke their Code of Ethics on the grounds they were "unauthorized gifts."
      Of the 65 watches only 48 have been returned, but they have now been donated to the streetfootballworld charity, which plans to plow the proceeds of their auction into Brazilian soccer projects.
      "Every cent we receive will go back into the communities we work with in Brazil," Vladimir Borkovic, co-founder of the Berlin-based charity, told CNN.
      "We will turn this material into social impact. We can turn this potential into something good," added Borkovic, who warned he doesn't expect each watch to reach its $30,000 price-tag.
      Despite the FIFA's reputational problems -- even its president Sepp Blatter is currently provisionally banned -- the charity, which has worked with the world governing body for the last 10 years, remains comfortable working with the organization.
      "We have thoroughly evaluated our relationship with FIFA," said Borkovic. "There are reliable and people with integrity at FIFA.
      "If you're a footballer you might not like your left winger, but you have to remember that you are part of a team. It's about using the power of football to change the world for the better."
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      The investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee said it now considers the watch scandal to "be closed."
      "The investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, led by its chairman Dr Cornel Borbély, decided that all watches returned to FIFA would now be donated to the international non-profit organization streetfootballworld,who will directly invest all resources generated through the sale of the watches into initiatives across Brazil that use football to drive social change," said FIFA in a statement:
      FIFA still has plenty on its agenda, however, after announcing Saturday that it was requesting sanctions against Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini after its own investigations.
      FIFA's ethic committee is reportedly seeking to impose a lifetime ban on Uefa president Platini, according to the lawyer of the 60-year-old Frenchman.
      Both Blatter and Platini, who were provisionally banned by the FIFA ethics committee in October, deny any wrongdoing.