– FIFA vice-presidents past and present, including Jack Warner and Jeffrey Webb, among those indicted.
– Warner’s sons among five parties to have already pleaded guilty on corruption charges.
– Attorney general Loretta Lynch: “The indictment alleges corruption that is rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted both abroad and here in the United States.”
The United States Department of Justice (USDoJ) has released the names of nine FIFA officials, including two current vice-presidents, and five corporate executives indicted for racketeering, conspiracy and corruption.
On Wednesday, seven of the defendants were arrested in Zurich on suspicion of the “acceptance of bribes and kick-backs between the early 1990s and the present day”, following a request from United States authorities.
The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) subsequently confirmed the start of separate proceedings against “persons unknown” following charges filed by FIFA, with the governing body described as “the injured party”.
The USDoJ has now identified FIFA vice-presidents Jeffrey Webb and Eugenio Figueredo, along with executive committe member Eduardo Li, development officer Julio Rocha, attache to the CONCACAF president Costas Takkas, CONMEBOL executive committee member Rafael Esquivel and FIFA organising committee member Jose Maria Marin as those arrested in Switzerland on Wednesday.
Former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner and ex-executive committee member Nicolas Leoz complete the line-up of indicted FIFA officials, while sports marketing executives Alejandro Burzaco, Aaron Davidson and Hugo and Mariano Jinkis are also listed.
Jose Marguiles, who operates in the broadcast industry, is the remaining defendant.
The sons of Warner, Daryll and Daryan Warner, have already pleaded guilty to fraudulent activities, while former CONCACAF general secretary Chuck Blazer, Jose Hawilla and his business Traffic Sports International Inc have also admitted similar charges.
“The indictment alleges corruption that is rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted both abroad and here in the United States,” said attorney general Loretta Lynch. “It 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.
“And it has profoundly harmed a multitude of victims, from the youth leagues and developing countries that should benefit from the revenue generated by the commercial rights these organizations hold, to the fans at home and throughout the world whose support for the game makes those rights valuable.
“Today’s action makes clear that this Department of Justice intends to end any such corrupt practices, to root out misconduct, and to bring wrongdoers to justice – and we look forward to continuing to work with other countries in this effort.”
In a lengthy media release, the USDoJ added: “The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”
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