Croatia: Football Bosses Jailed for Alleged Multi-Million Dollar Corruption

Dinamo Zagreb football club bosses Zdravko Mamić and his brother, Zoran, have been jailed by a Zagreb court following corruption allegations, Balkan Insight reports.

On Sunday, the court refused a € 2.6 million (US$ 2.85 million) bail application for the pair and ordered them held for a month.

Zdravko Mamić is Dinamo’s executive president. Zoran Mamić is club manager. They and two others are being investigated by the Office for Suppressing Corruption and Organized Crime (USKOK) over allegations of bribery, tax evasion, abuse of office and other criminal offenses.

The Croatian anti-corruption office claims the alleged corrupt activities earned the suspects 52,061,889.15 kuna (US$ 7.5 million), but cost the Croatian football club at least 117,808,541.62 kuna (US$ 17.1 million), and the state budget at least 12,209,650.67 kuna (US$ 1.8 million).

USKOK reportedly asked for the brothers to be denied bail to prevent them from influencing witnesses or committing more offences.

Authorities searched the brothers’ homes and offices last week, along with those of the two other suspects: former club official Damir Vrbanović and tax administration official Milan Pernar.

Dinamo’s director, Tomislav Svetina, said on Sunday that the club will stand behind the pair, calling the allegations against them “unfounded”.

The Mamić brothers’ case is the latest in a spate of corruption scandals that have rocked the footballing world. In May this year, OCCRP and Novaya Gazeta revealed controversial details about Fabio Capello’s lucrative contract with the Russian Football Union. Later that month, the world football governing body Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) became embroiled in a huge corruption scandal.

The Mamićs deny all charges.