The case the U.S. Department of Justice is bringing against nine FIFA officials and five sports business executives “spans at least two generations of soccer officials who, as alleged, have abused their positions of trust to acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks,” said U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. The statement came Wednesday after several officials were arrested at a Swiss hotel in the run up to FIFA’s annual congress.
According to The Guardian:
Seven of those named in the indictment were arrested at the Baur en Lac hotel on Wednesday morning. Four more individuals and two corporations have already pleaded guilty, according to the US Department of Justice.
“The indictment alleges corruption that is rampant, systemic and deep-rooted both abroad and here in the United States,” Lynch said…The defendants are accused of corrupt practices dating back to 1991, particularly bribes and kickbacks from sports marketing firms trying to shut rivals out from lucrative tournament contracts, including the World Cup…All the defendants face potential 20-year sentences for the racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering conspiracy, money laundering and obstruction of justice charges, the DoJ said.
Fifa has long been accused of corruption. Acting US attorney Kelly Currie warned there could be more charges yet to come. “Let me be clear: this indictment is not the final chapter in our investigation,” she said.
Read more about the charges being brought against Fifa (here) and watch John Oliver’s scathing commentary on the soccer organization from June 2014, below.
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