FIFA rocked by arrests on corruption allegations
VENTURES AFRICA – The top brass of football leadership has been rocked by a raft of arrest of FIFA executives by Swiss law enforcement authorities. The arrested officials are set to be extradited to the United States on corruption charges following investigations by the FBI. The charges against the FIFA officials range from corruption over World Cup bids to marketing and broadcast deals over the last 20 years.
Multiple reports suggested that the arrests took place at Zurich’s Baur au Lac hotel as FIFA executives gathered for an annual meeting.
In addition, Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney General has announced that it has opened criminal proceedings in relation to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
As many as 10 people are set to face questions on corrupt practices and money laundering regarding the bidding process for the World Cups in 2018 and 2022- awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively. Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney General has also taken possession of electronic data and documents just as certain bank documents, potential useful in detecting questionable activities before the votes were cast in December 2010.
The news of the arrest comes as another major blow to FIFA’s credibility which has been consistently weakened in recent years after multiple claims of corruption from within and without. With FIFA Presidential elections said to be held on Friday, May 29th, FIFA may have been thrown in disarray following these high profile arrests.
It must be said that the World Cup votes for Russia and Qatar have generated a lot of controversy and finally, with legal and criminal proceedings underway as well as these arrests, it appears indicting evidence may have been sufficiently gathered.