By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
According to a report of Spanish news portal “El Independiente” Saez who was forced to leave his position is investigated by a judge for the fate of more than 18.6 million euros, which are mostly related to the FIBA World Cup of 2014.
At least some of the money seems to be missing and also Saez and the federation are under investigation for tax evasion. According to the report while the FIBA World Cup of 2014 generated revenues of 44,5 million euros and a profit of 3 million euros, the Spanish tax authorities are investigated if it was legal or not for the federation to create a joint venture with FIBA in order to carry out all the financial activities of the tournament, something that’s applicable only to for-profit entities and not sports federations according to Spanish law and to the code of good governance of FEB. The verdict of the tax authorities will help the judge investigating Saez to decide if the Spanish federation has been “a necessary cooperator or a victim of the pecuniary damage allegedly caused by the management of its previous president”.
The total of 18.6 million euros are linked to this joint venture as contributions and donations from 2009 – when Spain was appointed as World Cup hosts – until 2014. According to the judge there are well-founded suspicions that the FEB committed “different crimes against the public treasury” by choosing to create a joint venture and for “simulating” sponsorship contracts as if they were donations. According to the report the investigation so far has revealed that the president received 190.000 euros “in commissions ” during four years for getting sponsors: 30.000 euros in 2011 and 40.000 euros per year between 2012 and 2014.
This is just the starting point of the investigation procedure since the federation is also accused for diverting part of the state aid to other ends, such as sending sports equipment to Congo when the nationalization of Serge Ibaka was negotiated.
UPDATE: The case seems simular to most notorious FIFA and IOC related scandals, since Saez remained a member of the FIBA Central board and of the FIBA executive committee until today. As FIBA announced: “The Executive Committee accepted the resignation of its member, Mr Jose Luis Saez, and thanked him for his contributions over the past decade. This also includes him stepping down as a member of FIBA’s Central Board”.