FIFA: U.S Indicts 14 For Corruption, Switzerland Opens Separate Probe | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


FIFA: U.S Indicts 14 For Corruption, Switzerland Opens Separate Probe

Posted: May 27, 2015 at 2:23 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

SOCCER’S powerful, polarising governing body FIFA has found itself on the defensive on two fronts on Wednesday May 27, 2015, one a Swiss investigation into World Cup bidding and the other a sweeping, stinging U.S. indictment homing in on what America’s top justice official called “corruption that is rampant, systemic and deep-rooted.”

Swiss authorities raided FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich on Wednesday, the same day they announced an investigation into the last two awarded World Cup bids – to Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022 – both of which had come under fire.

But, the day’s more definitive and, right now, damning action came out of the United States.

That’s where the Department of Justice announced the unsealing of a 47-count indictment in a federal court in Brooklyn, New York, that detailed charges against 14 people for racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy.

They include FIFA officials accused of taking bribes totaling more than $150 million and in return provided “lucrative media and marketing rights” to soccer tournaments as kickbacks over the past 24 years.

“The defendants fostered a culture of corruption and greed that created an uneven playing field for the biggest sport in the world,” FBI Director, James Comey, said in a release.

“Undisclosed and illegal payments, kickbacks and bribes became a way of doing business at FIFA.”