A number of FIFA executives have been arrested in a dawn raid in Zürich and will face corruption charges related to the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
The five-star Baur au Lac hotel in Zürich was the setting for a dramatic scene this morning, as six FIFA executives were arrested ahead of the organisation's congress in the Swiss capital later today. It is believed that a total of 14 people are facing corruption charges world wide.
According to a statement from the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland, they have obtained evidence of "criminal mismanagement and of money laundering in connection with the allocation of the 2018 and 2022 Football World Cups" and the documents they have will be used in criminal proceedings both in Switzerland and abroad.
The Guardian is reporting that the total of the bribes is believed to be around the $100 million mark, and the resulting FBI inquiry has lead to charges of wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering. At the moment, it is believed that Jeffrey Webb and Jack Warner (both of CONCACAF) were arrested, while the Swiss police have also detained Eugenio Figueredo of the Uruguayan football association, Eduardo Li and Rafael Esquivel, presidents of the Costa Rican and Venezuelan Football Federations respectively, José Maria Marin, president of the Brazilian Football Confederation, and former president of CONMEBOL Nicolás Leoz.
FIFA's Walter de Gregorio will be giving a press conference on the matter shortly, which you can view below.
While it was believed that FIFA's congress and presidential election would be postponed in the light of today's developments, De Gregorio stated that "one thing has nothing to do with the other" and that it will go ahead as scheduled, as of his update this morning.
He added that he wanted to make it clear that neither president Sepp Blatter nor general secretary Jérôme Valcke were involved in the investigations, and highlighted that the Attorney General's statement points out that "FIFA is the damaged party" in these investigations.
He added that "this, for FIFA, is good. Obviously it's not good in terms of image [...] but in terms of cleaning up it is good".
The United States Department of Justice issued a statement in the last few minutes nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives have been indicted for racketeering and corruption, and they have named the individuals concerned in their report:
Jeffrey Webb: Current FIFA vice president and executive committee member, CONCACAF president, Caribbean Football Union (CFU) executive committee member and Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) president.
Eduardo Li: Current FIFA executive committee member-elect, CONCACAF executive committee member and Costa Rican soccer federation (FEDEFUT) president.
Julio Rocha: Current FIFA development officer. Former Central American Football Union (UNCAF) president and Nicaraguan soccer federation (FENIFUT) president.
Costas Takkas: Current attaché to the CONCACAF president. Former CIFA general secretary.
Jack Warner: Former FIFA vice president and executive committee member, CONCACAF president, CFU president and Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) special adviser.
Eugenio Figueredo: Current FIFA vice president and executive committee member. Former CONMEBOL president and Uruguayan soccer federation (AUF) president.
Rafael Esquivel: Current CONMEBOL executive committee member and Venezuelan soccer federation (FVF) president.
José Maria Marin: Current member of the FIFA organizing committee for the Olympic football tournaments. Former CBF president.
Nicolás Leoz: Former FIFA executive committee member and CONMEBOL president.
Four of the defendants were sports marketing executives:
Alejandro Burzaco: Controlling principal of Torneos y Competencias S.A., a sports marketing business based in Argentina, and its affiliates.
Aaron Davidson: President of Traffic Sports USA Inc. (Traffic USA).
Hugo and Mariano Jinkis: Controlling principals of Full Play Group S.A., a sports marketing business based in Argentina, and its affiliates.
And one of the defendants was in the broadcasting business but allegedly served as an intermediary to facilitate illicit payments between sports marketing executives and soccer officials:
José Margulies: Controlling principal of Valente Corp. and Somerton Ltd.
More as the story develops.
Via The Guardian