Nine FIFA officials have been indicted for racketeering, conspiracy and corruption. Of the nine officials, two are current vice presidents forming part of the 14 people indicted on Wednesday as reported in a statement released by the Department of Justice.
FIFA officials aren’t the only ones that has cast a blanket of doubt and shame on the soccer industry. In addition to the nine FIFA officials, numerous other football governing bodies were listed as part of the 47-count indictment for “racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies, among other offenses, in connection with the defendants’ participation in a 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through the corruption of international soccer.”
These arrests have happened just days before the FIFA presidential elections, which will still continue on Friday. The current president of FIFA, Sepp Blatter are not among those arrested, reported the Independent.
The New York Times reported that the arrests were made early Wednesday morning by Swiss authorities on behalf of the United States and that the men were apprehend peacefully.
FIFA has released an official statement in response to the arrests, saying that it “welcomes actions that can help contribute to rooting out any wrongdoing in football.”it is “pleased to see that the investigation is being energetically pursued” and “we are pleased to see that the investigation is being energetically pursued for the good of football and believe that it will help to reinforce measures that FIFA has already taken.” Read the statement here.
See the list of football officials that were named in the indictment below as reported by the Huffington Post:
Jeffrey Webb: Current FIFA vice president and executive committee member, CONCACAF president, Caribbean Football Union (CFU) executive committee member and Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) president.
• Eduardo Li: Current FIFA executive committee member-elect, CONCACAF executive committee member and Costa Rican soccer federation (FEDEFUT) president.
• Julio Rocha: Current FIFA development officer. Former Central American Football Union (UNCAF) president and Nicaraguan soccer federation (FENIFUT) president.
• Costas Takkas: Current attaché to the CONCACAF president. Former CIFA general secretary.
• Jack Warner: Former FIFA vice president and executive committee member, CONCACAF president, CFU president and Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) special adviser.
• Eugenio Figueredo: Current FIFA vice president and executive committee member. Former CONMEBOL (South American Football Confederation) president and Uruguayan soccer federation (AUF) president.
• Rafael Esquivel: Current CONMEBOL executive committee member and Venezuelan soccer federation (FVF) president.
• José Maria Marin: Current member of the FIFA organizing committee for the Olympic football tournaments. Former CBF president.
• Nicolás Leoz: Former FIFA executive committee member and CONMEBOL president.
Statement by FIFA president Sepp Blatter:
This is a difficult time for football, the fans and for FIFA as an organisation. We understand the disappointment that many have expressed and I know that the events of today will impact the way in which many people view us.