Under investigation for corruption and bribery by the U.S. Justice Department, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, or FIFA, has hired a consulting firm with close ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton.
According to the BBC, FIFA tapped Teneo Holdings, a New York-based firm, to help limit any financial damages it could face because of the investigation. Teneo was co-founded in 2011 by Doug Band, a longtime Clinton associate and aide, and Declan Kelly, who worked as the U.S. envoy to Northern Ireland in Hillary Clinton’s State Department.
“FIFA has retained global advisory firm Teneo to work across operational and reputational priorities,” a FIFA rep told the BBC.
In May, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced charges against 14 FIFA officials accused of taking bribes in exchange for favorable votes regarding TV contract awards and for the opportunity to host the 2010 World Cup.
The BBC reported that FIFA picked Teneo because of the firm’s close ties to the federal government. Those ties will likely grow stronger if Clinton is elected to the presidency in 2016.
Many of Teneo’s top employees worked in the Hillary Clinton State Department. In addition to Declan Kelly, two of her top aides, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, have also worked for Teneo. In fact, both were granted a special exemption to work for the firm while also working for the State Department.
Bill Clinton also served as an adviser to Teneo until 2012. In May it was revealed that Teneo contracted with Clinton through apass-through company he operated called WJC, LLC.
FIFA has direct financial ties to the Clintons as well. The international soccer body has donated between $50,000 and $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation, the non-profit organization operated by the Clintons. The Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, which was formed after Qatar won a bid for the 2022 World Cup, has given the Clinton Foundation between $250,000 and $500,000.