Swiss police arrest 6 FIFA officials over alleged $100m bribe

Six FIFA officials were earlier today arrested by Swiss Police over allegations of corruption and bribe

 

With just two days to the Federation of International Football Association presidential elections, six officials of the world governing body have been arrested by Swiss police in a $100m bribe scandal.

The six, which are high ranking officials including the vice-president were arrested this morning, Wednesday, May 27 after the Swiss police raided a five star hotel in Switzerland.

More than 10 plain-clothed Swiss police officers raided Baur au Lac Hotel around 6am and picked up the officials from their room.

Jeffrey Webb who is the Vice President of the FIFA executive committee is among the six officials arrested.

The officials have been arrested for allegations of corruption including bribes totaling over $100m over the past 25 years.

A statement from the Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) said the arrests took place on request on the U.S authorities.

"The six soccer functionaries were arrested today in Zurich by the Zurich Cantonal Police. The FOJ's arrest warrants were issued further to a request by the US authorities," a spokesperson said.

"The US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York is investigating these individuals on suspicion of the acceptance of bribes and kick-backs between the early 1990s and the present day.

"The bribery suspects - representatives of sports media and sports promotion firms - are alleged to have been involved in schemes to make payments to the soccer functionaries - delegates of Fifa (Federation Internationale de Football Association) and other functionaries of Fifa sub-organisations - totalling more than $100m.

"In return, it is believed that they received media, marketing, and sponsorship rights in connection with soccer tournaments in Latin America. According to the US request, these crimes were agreed and prepared in the US, and payments were carried out via US banks."

The other arrested officials are Eugenio Figueredo, an Uruguayan football executive, Eduardio Li, President of the Costa Rica Football Association and Jack Warner, a former member of the executive committee.

The New York Times also reports that 14 officials in total has been charged on the U.S indictment.

The other suspects named include Julio Rocha, Costas Takkas, Rafael Esquivel, José Maria Marin and Nicolás Leoz.

Sepp Blatter, President of the world football governing body was not among the officials arrested.

The alleged bribes were received during deals connected to the media, marketing and sponsorship rights in connection with soccer competitions in Latin America, the reports.

In Friday, May 29 election, Sepp Blatter, the incumbent president, is seeking his fifth term and is being challenged by Jordan's Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein.

FIFA have announced that they will hold a press conference later in the day to clarify he situation.

The effect of the arrests on the upcoming election will also be revealed at the press conference.

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