On the morning of May 27th more than a dozen plainclothes Swiss police officers entered a five-star Zurich hotel following an FBI investigation in to widespread corruption.
14 officials have been charged, including nine current Fifa executives. Notably, vice presidents Jeffrey Webb and Eugenio Figueredo.
According to the New York Times the allegations cover up to 20 years of corruption “involving bids for World Cups as well as marketing and broadcast deals
“The charges include wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering”
This follows controversy over Fifa’s decision to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup, not only surrounding supposed bribery but also the inordinate amount of deaths of construction workers building stadiums.
The Swiss Federal Office of Justice said that all deals, totalling over $100 million dollars, were organised and paid to banks in the US. Police in Zurich questioned the suspects and the FOJ “immediately approved their extradition to the US“.
Today’s presidential election is going ahead, with 79 year old Sepp Blatter – who was not arrested – due to retain the seat he’s held since 1998. Fifa spokesman Walter de Gregorio clarified that: “He [Blatter] is not involved at all“.
Greg Dyke, the FA Chairman said: “As one of the associations who nominated Prince Ali it will not surprise you to learn that if the election for president goes ahead the FA will be voting for him. However, there must be a question mark over whether the election should take place in these circumstances.”
This mirrors the feelings of the majority of Europe who seem to be backing Jordanian presidency candidate Prince Ali, Blatter’s only competition.
Sponsors including Coca-Cola, Visa and Budweiser have all expressed their concern.