Seven officials from FIFA’s governing body were arrested for alleged corruption in Zurich yesterday.
The Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) allege that Jeffrey Webb, Eduardo Li, Jack Warner, Eugenio Figueredo, Nicolás Leoz, José Maria Marin and Rafael Esquivel were involved in schemes by making payments to FIFA delegates and FIFA sub-organisations totalling more than $125 million (AU).
The Justice Department in America are pushing to have a total of 14 officials extradited for wire fraud, money laundering and racketeering. The officials are both current and former delegates along with sport marketing executives.
The arrests occurred just 48 hours before FIFA’s governing body meet in congress with Sepp Blatter, who is expected to be re-elected as president of the organisation for the fifth time.
Blatter released a statement early this morning on the latest events.
“We welcome the actions of the Swiss and US authorities,” he said
“Let me be clear: such misconduct has no place in football and we will ensure that those who engage in it are put out of the game.”
The football’s governing body were heavily scrutinised recently. Both Russia and Qatar were selected as hosts of the 2018 & 2022 World Cups respectively in 2010, while the likes of Australia, England, Spain the USA were rejected. An inquiry into allegations of corruption were held later by its ethics committee, but nothing untoward was revealed and closed the case late in 2014.
Football Federation Australia have delegates in Zurich for the congress but declined to comment on the matter.
FFA Chief Executive Officer David Gallop has arrived in Zurich with FFA chairman Frank Lowy. – Marc Summers
Top photo taken from AsianFC Flickr Photostream.