FIFA monitoring Satyam developments

January 8th, 2009 - 2:37 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 8 (IANS) World football body FIFA, which had signed up troubled Indian software giant Satyam as its information technology partner for the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, said Thursday that it was closely monitoring the developments and studying the extent of the fraud by the company. Satyam’s co-founder and chairman B. Ramalinga Raju resigned Wednesday after confessing to a $1.4 billion fraud that had been going on for years.

“FIFA is monitoring the situation related to Satyam, a company which provides services of technical support to FIFA. At this stage and until we have more information, it is too early for FIFA to make any further comments on the matter,” a FIFA spokesperson told IANS.

The Hyderabad-based Satyam was the first Indian company to sign up as a FIFA World Cup sponsor in 2007 and the deal was reportedly estimated around $200 million. According to the agreement, Satyam bagged the global rights for 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and the two FIFA Confederations Cups during the 2007-2014 period.

Satyam was in charge of developing the core IT event management system for FIFA and is also its IT services partner for accommodation and hospitality as well as for local organising committees during the seven years.

The IT event management is said to have 14 pieces. Key to the whole system is the accreditation component. The event management system also handles ticketing, results, FIFA’s live feeds, as well as FIFA’s website.

In addition to this, there are transport, protocol and volunteer management systems. The volunteer management system is designed to help coordinate over 50,000 volunteers that will be aiding in the event. There will also be an IT help desk, designed for the volunteers and Satyam Technical people, manning systems in the nine stadiums.

Satyam was the fourth company after Anheuser-Busch, McDonald’s and MTN to join the proposed six-member FIFA World Cup Sponsor line-up.

But now the company is in deep trouble after Raju confessed to the fraud and he may face up to seven years’ imprisonment if proven guilty, legal experts said.

He could face prosecution under the Indian Penal Code, Companies Act, IT Act, SEBI Act and even Foreign exchange Management Act.

The company has now formed a crack team to run the day-to-day operations.

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