A Soccer Contract From 1996 Has Nike Under Fire in Brazil

December 4, 2015, 9:19 PM UTC
Images Of General Economy Ahead Of Philippines GDP Figures
A man carrying a motorcycle helmet uses a mobile phone outside a Nike Inc. store at the Ayala Center Cebu shopping mall, operated by the Ayala Corporation, at the Cebu Business Park in Cebu, Philippines, on Monday, Aug. 3, 2015. The Philippine economy expanded 5.2 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, the weakest pace since 2011, on slower public spending. Second-quarter data are due Aug. 27. Photographer: Kuni Takahashi/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Kuni Takahashi — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Nike is defending a 1996 contract from Brazil after the U.S. Department of Justice alleged that FIFA soccer officials took bribes.

Nike released a statement on Thursday saying that the company wasn’t aware of bribes and that it is cooperating with U.S. authorities, according to Bloomberg.

The Justice Department has been accused of getting kickbacks from what’s been dubbed “Sportswear Company A” after a $160 million contract was signed. In 1996, Nike had signed with Brazil’s national soccer team, prompting the investigation.

“The indictment says Sportswear Company A paid an additional $40 million to an affiliate of the firm that helped broker the deal,” according to Bloomberg, “and half of that was transferred in kickbacks and bribes to former Brazil soccer president Ricardo Teixeira.”

“There is no allegation in the charging documents that any Nike employee was aware of or knowingly participated in any bribery or kickback scheme,” Nike said in the statement to Bloomberg. “Nike believes in ethical and fair play in both business and sport and strongly opposes any form of manipulation or bribery.”

Fortune has reached out to Nike for comment.