FIFA Crisis

Owen Gibson and Damien Gayle “Fifa officials arrested on corruption charges as World Cup inquiry launched”

FIFAの本部が瑞西の警察当局によってガサ入れされ、総会のために瑞西入りしていたFIFAの理事が一挙に9人もぱくられる。スキャンダルに塗れた日本相撲協会*1とか全日本柔道連盟*2とかでも、複数の理事が逮捕されるということはなかった。さすがはグローバル組織のFIFA、スケールが違うね! と思わず感心してしまう(笑)。

The arrests were made on behalf of US authorities, after an FBI investigation that has been under way for at least three years. The US Department of Justice said authorities had charged 14 officials, nine of whom are current or former Fifa executives. Those arrested in Zurich face extradition to the US.

“They were expected to uphold the rules that keep soccer honest. Instead they corrupted the business of worldwide soccer to serve their interests and enrich themselves,” said the US attorney general, Loretta Lynch, at a news conference in New York. “They did this over and over, year after year, tournament after tournament.” Events tainted by corruption included the award of the 2010 World Cup to South Africa and the 2011 Fifa presidential election, she said.

The arrests on behalf of the US authorities form part of an international investigation into bribes worth $100m (£65m) spanning three decades. The allegations date back to the 1990s and involve “the acceptance of bribes and kickbacks”, Swiss officials said.

Fifa vice-president Jeffrey Webb, of the Cayman Islands, was among those arrested. He is the head of Fifa’s North American regional body, known as Concacaf, which reported itself to US tax authorities in 2012.

The organisation had not paid taxes for several years when its president was Jack Warner and Chuck Blazer was secretary general.

As well as Webb, the Department of Justice statement confirmed the Fifa officials charged were Eugenio Figueredo, Jack Warner, Eduardo Li, Julio Rocha, Costas Takkas, Rafael Esquivel, José Maria Marin and Nicolás Leoz. A further four defendants were the sports marketing executives Alejandro Burzaco, Aaron Davidson, Hugo Jinkis and Mariano Jinkis. A further marketing executive, José Marguiles, was charged as an intermediary*3.

The DoJ statement confirmed the charges were for racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies, “among other offences” and alleged a “24-year scheme to enrich themselves through the corruption of international soccer”.

The Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) said: “The US attorney’s office for the eastern district of New York is investigating these individuals on suspicion of the acceptance of bribes and kickbacks between the early 1990s and the present day.

“The bribery suspects – representatives of sports media and sports promotion firms – are alleged to have been involved in schemes to make payments to the soccer functionaries – delegates of Fifa (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) and other functionaries of Fifa sub-organisations – totalling more than $100m.

“In return, it is believed that they received media, marketing, and sponsorship rights in connection with soccer tournaments in Latin America. According to the US request, these crimes were agreed and prepared in the US, and payments were carried out via US banks.”


Separately, Swiss federal prosecutors said they had opened criminal proceedings in connection with the award of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar. These decisions have been shrouded in claims of bribery and corruption ever since the vote in December 2010*6.

The Swiss authorities seized “electronic data and documents” in a raid on Fifa headquarters. Bank documents had earlier been collected from various Swiss financial institutions. Police will question 10 members of the Fifa executive committee who took part in the World Cup votes. The 10, all still current members of Fifa’s ExCo, include senior vice-president Issa Hayatou of Cameroon and Vitaly Mutko, Russia’s sports minister who is head of the country’s 2018 World Cup organising committee. The others are Angel Maria Villar Llona (Spain), Michel D’Hooghe (Belgium), Senes Erzik (Turkey), Worawi Makudi (Thailand), Marios Lefkaritis (Cyprus), Jacques Anouma (Ivory Coast), Rafael Salguero (Guatemala) and Hany Abo Rida (Egypt).

In a statement, the Swiss attorney general’s office said the executives were being questioned on suspicion of “criminal mismanagement” and money laundering. It said the timing of the operation was deliberately co-ordinated with the arrests on behalf of the US authorities “to avoid any possible collusion” between suspects and because a large number of those involved in the voting for the two World Cups were present in Zurich, where Fifa president Sepp Blatter was expected to be re-elected for another four-year term on Friday.

Owen Gibson, Damien Gayle and Frances Perraudin “Fifa crisis: Blatter rebuffs Platini plea to resign and resolves to ride out scandal

このスキャンダルを契機に表面化したのは、FIFAのSepp Blatter会長の退陣を求める声と、FIFAUEFA*7との対立。UEFAはBlatterへの対抗候補としてヨルダンのAli bin al-Hussein王子を支持することを表明している。それに対して、露西亜プーチン大統領は今回の逮捕劇自体を糾弾している。米国陰謀論に持っていくつもりか。英国のキャメロン首相はBlatter退陣を支持している*8。また、FIFAのスポンサー企業のうち、アディダス、ヴィザ、コカ・コーラがBlatter退陣を要求している*9

*1:See eg.

*2:See eg.

*3:See Office of Public Affairs, US Department of Justice “ Nine FIFA Officials and Five Corporate Executives Indicted for Racketeering Conspiracy and Corruption”

*4:Mentioned in

*5:Mentioned in

*6:See Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland “The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland seizes documents at FIFA


*8:See also Frances Perraudin “David Cameron backs demands for Sepp Blatter to quit “

*9:See also Claire Phipps and Damien Gayle “Fifa crisis: Visa sponsorship threat compounds calls for Blatter to resign”