Several FIFA officials were arrested today in a Zurich hotel after a 6am Raid by the police as part of a US investigation into bribes and fraud campaigns. This comes two days before the FIFA elections as Sepp Blatter is now too going to face investigation. Jeffrey Webb, vice president of FIFA, has also been detained in Zurich today. Brazillian Marketing boss Josè Hawilla, the owner and founder of a traffic group, has also pleaded guilty to fraud, money laundering, racketeering and obstruction of justice in December last year. Until today his case was kept under investigation. These crimes date back three decades and the men arrested in Zurich were suspected of accepting bribes from the early 1990s and the present day.
In the raid, Swiss police entered the Baur au Lac hotel and went to the rooms of the six having taken all the keys from reception before apprehending the six men and escorting them peacefully out of the building. A ministry statement said,”The bribes were paid in exchange for the media rights and the marketing rights for competitions in the United States and South America.”
A total of nine officials are facing charges, including Eduardo Li, Julio Rocha, Jack Warner, Eugenio Figueredo, Rafael Esquivel, Josè Maria Marin, Nicolás Leoz and a further more of sports marketing executives.
Now in investigation is the allegation of money laundering in connection with the allocation of the 2018 and 2022 Football World Cups and whether current FIFA president Sepp Blatter is involved. Meanwhile Sepp Blatter’s spokesperson ensured today that Blatter is not involved in these corruption probes and that Friday’s votes will go ahead.