Swiss authorities have arrested a number of FIFA officials in Switzerland in an early morning sweep that came after charges that were backed from an F.B.I. investigation that included bribery issues, World Cup bid corruption, bribes involving marketing and more, although so far president Sepp Blatter has not been charged.
The Department of Justice indictment names 14 people in the case and new attorney general Loretta Lynch described the charges in a press conference on Wednesday morning in the United States. According to the NY Times, the soccer officials charged in the case are Mr. Li, Jeffrey Webb, Eugenio Figueredo, Jack Warner, Julio Rocha, Costas Takkas, Rafael Esquivel, José Maria Marin and Nicolás Leoz.
The article also details the sports-marketing executives that were charged and those names include Alejandro Burzaco, Aaron Davidson, Hugo Jinkis and Mariano Jinkis. The investigation has been coming for a long time and describes a number of charges, including backroom deals, bribes involving votes for World Cup bids as well as issues related to broadcast and marketing deals. FIFA has been under fire for years regarding corruption and now this could be a case that takes years to deal with, as the people charges likely will fight extradition to the United States.
FIFA has been dogged by rumors that the World Cup bids for 2018 and 2022 have been soiled by corruption and now it looks like that is confirmed. The bids for Russia and Qatar have been criticized since they were announced, but FIFA has not been transparent about how those deals went down. This case now could blow open the organization, which has been criticized for lack of transparency. Blatter is up for re-election and the election is on Friday.