Given what is known about the history of using art as gifts to bribe officials in Japan and China over the last four decades (and surely longer than that) it should not be as shocking as it is to learn that London’s Sunday Times has claimed that two football officials from Europe were said to be recipients of gifts of art work to influence their choice of Russia as a host for the World Cup.
CNN details the allegations:
A painting, believed to be a Picasso, was allegedly gifted to Union of European Football Associations UEFA president and FIFA executive member Michel Platini in return for his support for the eventually successful Russian bid for the 2018 global showpiece.
Another FIFA voting member, Michel D’Hooghe, from Belgium, was also the recipient of a landscape painting, given to him in a package wrapped in brown paper by Viacheslav Koloskov, a former Russian executive committee member working for his nation’s attempt to host the 2018 tournament, it is alleged in a report in The Sunday Times. FIFA ethics report clears Russia, Qatar Qatar’s World Cup hosting in jeopardy? Should World Cup be pulled from Russia?
Former French international star Platini strongly denies the claims, the newspaper reported. […]
The allegations also detail the plundering of Russia’s national art collection, either from the vaults of the State Hermitage Museum in St.Petersburg or the Kremlin archives, as alleged kickbacks to Platini and D’Hooghe.