The 48 Parmigiani watches, worth £16,400 each, were included in a gift bag given to Fifa executives and the heads of the 32 football associations who qualified for the 2014 World Cup.
Three FIFA exco members – reported to have been American Sunil Gulati, Australian Moya Dodd and Jordan’s Prince Ali – reported the watches ‘present’ to the ethics committee.
FIFA’s ethics committee demanded the watches be returned – though only 48 of the 65 have been returned – and will hand them over to the organisation streetfootballworld which will sell them on to raise funds.
The watch controversy left FA chairman Greg Dyke some £3,000 out of pocket – he was unaware of the value of the watch but had to pay import duty before returning it to FIFA.
A statement from FIFA’s ethics committee said: “After having investigated the matter thoroughly, the investigatory chamber of the ethics committee found evidence that from the initially intended 65 watches offered by the CBF to football officials, several officials had, in fact, not received a watch. “Following said investigations and after contacting all potential recipients, 48 watches were returned to the investigatory chamber of the ethics committee.
“The investigatory chamber of the ethics committee, led by its chairman Dr Cornel Borbely, decided that all watches returned to FIFA would now be donated to the international non-profit organisation street football world, who will directly invest all resources generated through the sale of the watches into initiatives across Brazil that use football to drive social change.”
By Olisemeka Obeche (with agency reports)