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As Part of His “Afternoon Work,” Vesel Supervises the Financial Aspects of All of FIFA’s Business Operations

“If that were true, it is a lot of work for an afternoon job. But even if it is true, his work is probably not worth more than the work of the President of the European Commission, is it? Two hundred and fifty thousand euros a year for the afternoon work of a supervisor is the best proof that the control over UEFA’s finances is a simple farce, worthy of a serious international investigation,” Prime Minister Janez Janša commented on the description of Tomaž Vesel’s work at FIFA. In a show on RTV, Vesel said that he takes his work at the Court of Audit very seriously and that he is completely dedicated to it. Well, and to the financial supervision at FIFA, he then added.

“We take care of full financial control of FIFA’s operations, we take care of the correct distribution of funds that FIFA invests around the world, I led the group for the preparation of all documentation for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, and I have many other tasks as well,” Tomaž Vesel said on the show Studio City, listing only a few of the things that he deals with as part of his afternoon work, which is not supposed to be profitable – despite the fact that he receives around 200 thousand euros a year for it. This, of course, raises the question of whether he even has any time left to chair the Court of Audit. Listening to him describe his work at FIFA, it quickly becomes clear that it is more of a full-time job than an afternoon hobby. “At the same time, FIFA believes that the four-year plan will still bring the expected 84 million euros in profit. Revenues are largely tied to the implementation of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, with which they are expected to get at least 1.3 billion euros,” Slovenian Press Agency reported in August of last year – just so you can get a sense of what amounts of money Vesel deals with in his spare time.

The decision of the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption (hereinafter referred to as the CPC) caused quite a stir in the Slovenian public in recent days, as they decided that the President of the Court of Audit Tomaž Vesel is not guilty of corruption. He found himself being investigated due to his “afternoon” work at FIFA, where he earns 246 thousand euros gross annually. The main problem is that the CPC and Vesel do not want to admit that FIFA is a company which is carrying out a gainful activity – which we also pointed out in our media outlet, with the case of the Court of Justice of the European Union, where they clearly ruled that FIFA performs a gainful activity. The fact that CPC decided that Vesel is not guilty also surprised the former long-term diplomat Dr Dimitrij Rupel, who said that the CPC has no standards and essentially no legitimacy either – so he is not even surprised that such a decision has been made. “This commission is worthless,” he pointed out.

CPC’s questionable decisions
It is interesting that the CPC also does not see anything controversial in the coaching work of the SD MP Gregor Židan, who works at the Slovenian Football Association (Nogometna zveza Slovenije – hereinafter referred to as the NZS). In his case, they have not detected any violations of the provisions of the Integrity and Prevention of Corruption Act. According to the CPC, coaching is a sporting activity. It should be pointed out that MP Židan worked as a coach at the NZS without the permission of the National Assembly, for which he issued an invoice through his catering company. On the other hand, Ferenc Horvath, an MP of the Hungarian national minority, has had quite a few problems with the commission. Namely, in his case, the CPC decided two years ago that his role of director in the company Minta was incompatible with his position of MP under the Integrity and Prevention of Corruption Act.

In 2019, MP Horvath received an appeal from the CPC to resign from one of the positions, and Horvath is now challenging all of the documents published by the CPC in the Administrative Court, proposing their abolition. Horvath claims that he did not have a contract for his position of director of the company and also did not receive any payment for that title throughout his term. As he says, he only performed the work of a legal representative and signatory of documents.
The MP is accused of being the director of Minta, Ltd. at the time, but he himself pointed out that as the director, he had no income and, according to the lawyers with which he consulted, he did not engage in gainful activity, so the two roles should therefore be compatible.
Despite the fact that the ruling of the High and Labour Courts emphasised that in determining the gainful activity of an MP who also performs the role of a director of a company, the Rules concerning definitions of profitable and non-profitable activity need to be taken into account, the MP resigned from his position as director in 2018 already. However, we cannot avoid the observation that the CPC does not have the same criteria for everyone, and in certain cases, their decisions are also highly questionable.

Sara Bertoncelj

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