High-ranking FIFA officials arrested, face extradition to the US

World Today

Walter De Gregorio, FIFA Director of Communications and Public Affairs, addresses the media during a press conference at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, Wednesday, May 27, 2015. Swiss federal prosecutors opened criminal proceedings related to the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, throwing FIFA deeper into crisis only hours after seven soccer officials were arrested and 14 indicted Wednesday in a separate U.S. corruption probe. (Ennio Leanza/Keystone via AP)

The world’s most popular sport was plunged into turmoil after several high-ranking soccer officials, including two vice presidents of the world football governing-body FIFA, were arrested and detained by Swiss police Wednesday pending extradition to the United States.

U.S. authorities said nine football officials and five sports media and promotions executives faced corruption charges involving more than $150 million in bribes. Swiss police arrested seven FIFA officials who are now awaiting extradition to the United States.

The arrests were made by plain-clothed police shortly after dawn at a plush Zurich hotel where FIFA officials are staying ahead of this week’s FIFA presidential election.

The Swiss Federal Office of Justice did not identify which officials were arrested but confirmed that FIFA president Sepp Blatter was not among them.

The New York Times and the BBC both reported that Jeffrey Webb and Eugenio Figueredo, both FIFA vice-presidents, were among the detained.


Journalist, James Montague, on corruption in football

Author and Journalist James Montague has been following the FIFA scandal and joins CCTV America from London. His book “Thirty-One Nil” is a backstory about the players and their journey to the World Cup Finals.

Journalist, James Montague, on corruption in football

Journalist, James Montague, on corruption in football

uthor and Journalist James Montague has been following the FIFA scandal and joins CCTV America from London. His book "Thirty-One Nil" is a backstory about the players and their journey to the World Cup Finals.


The FOJ said in a statement that the officials were suspected by U.S. investigators of having received or paid bribes totaling millions of dollars.

More than 10 officials were expected to be indicted but not all were in Zurich. The New York Times said Jack Warner, Eduardo Li, Julio Rocha, Costas Takkas, Rafael Esquivel, José Maria Marin and Nicolas Leoz were also indicted.

One FIFA official was led by the authorities from his room to a side-door exit of the hotel, the Times said, adding that officials from the body’s powerful executive committee were being targeted.


Sylvia Schenk on the FIFA corruption scandal
For more on the FIFA corruption scandal, CCTV spoke to Sylvia Schenk from Transparency International.

Sylvia Schenk on the FIFA corruption scandal

Sylvia Schenk on the FIFA corruption scandal

For more on the FIFA corruption scandal, CCTV spoke to Sylvia Schenk from Transparency International.

The Times said much of the enquiry was focused on the CONCACAF region, which governs soccer in the North America, Central America and the Caribbean. The confederation’s former boss Warner was regularly dogged by accusations of corruption before he resigned in 2011, putting an end to investigations of the Trinidad citizen.

Prosecutors expected to announce the case at a news conference at the Brooklyn U.S. attorney’s office, which is leading the investigation on Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal said in a separate report.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey and Internal Revenue Service criminal chief Richard Weber were expected to appear in Brooklyn to announce the case, the WSJ said.

Sources include Reuters, CCTV America and the New York Times


Senior FIFA officials are extradited to US for corruption

Some of world sport’s most powerful executives were led away from their luxury hotel rooms by Swiss Police. They are to be extradited to the United States. Senior FIFA officials were amongst them: accused of 47 counts of corrupt activity, and dating back 3 decades.

CCTV’s Guy Henderson file this report.

Senior FIFA officials are extradited to US for corruption

Senior FIFA officials are extradited to US for corruption

Some of world sport's most powerful executives were led away from their luxury hotel rooms by Swiss Police. They are to be extradited to the United States. Senior FIFA officials were amongst them: accused of 47 counts of corrupt activity, and dating back 3 decades.


US Justice Department indicts high-ranking football executives

The U.S. Justice Department indicted high-ranking football executives with orchestrating a multi-million dollar corruption scheme that has spanned nearly a quarter century.

CCTV’s Liling Tan filed this report from New York.

US Justice Department indicts high-ranking football executives

US Justice Department indicts high-ranking football executives

The U.S. Justice Department indicted high-ranking football executives with orchestrating a multi-million dollar corruption scheme that has spanned nearly a quarter century.


Patrick Rishe on FIFA’s potential fallout

For more on the investigation of FIFA and the potential fallout, CCTV America was joined by Patrick Rishe from Washington University in Missouri. He’s the Director of their Sports Business Program.

Patrick Rish on FIFA\'s potential fallout

Patrick Rish on FIFA\'s potential fallout

For more on the investigation of FIFA and the potential fallout, CCTV America was joined by Patrick Rish from Washington University in Missouri. He's the Director of their Sports Business Program.