Two criminal investigations into corruption at football’s world governing body Fifa are under way, with seven senior officials arrested in Zurich Wednesday, May 27, 2015, on US charges.
Separately, Swiss prosecutors have launched a criminal case into the bids for the 2018 and 2022 world cups, to be held in Russia and Qatar respectively.
The seven are among 14 indicted on corruption charges, US authorities say.
The US justice department said 14 individuals were under investigation worldwide, including former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner, for allegedly accepting bribes and kickbacks estimated at more than $150m (£97m) over a 24-year period.
Seven of those under investigation were arrested in a police operation at a five-star hotel in Zurich early on Wednesday:
- Jeffrey Webb – head of the confederation for North and Central America and the Caribbean, Concacaf, and Fifa vice-president
- Costa Rica’s national football chief Eduardo Li, who was due to join Fifa’s executive committee on Friday
- Uruguay’s Eugenio Figueredo, president of South American football governing body Conmebol
- Venezuelan Football Federation president Rafael Esquivel
- Brazil’s Jose Maria Marin, a member of Fifa’s club committee
- Fifa development officer Julio Rocha, from Nicaragua
- Costas Takkas, of the UK, an attache to the Concacaf president
“The indictment alleges corruption that is rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted both abroad and here in the United States,” said US Attorney General Loretta Lynch.