U.S. Justice Department Busts Everyone In FIFA Except For Blofeld Sepp Blatter
FIFA. Ohhhhh FIFA FIFA FIFA. What can we say about you that hasn't already been said by James Bond about Spectre. Wednesday, Swiss law enforcement officials detained FIFA executives who had gathered in Zurich for an annual meeting to discuss, oh I dunno, stealing candy from babies, and are currently being extradited to the United States to face corruption charges. FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who is seeking his fifth term (that's always a good sign), was not among those who were arrested. Here's who was:
Eduardo Li, Jeffrey Webb, Eugenio Figueredo, Jack Warner, Julio Rocha, Nicolás Leoz, Rafael Esquivel, José Maria Marin and Costas Takkas.
Sports marketing execs from the U.S. and Europe were also involved in the bust, as The New York Times alleges they participated in bribes and kickbacks totalling close to $150 million over the last two decades.
[NY Times] “The indictment alleges corruption that is rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted both abroad and here in the United States,” said United States Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch.
United States officials also revealed that four people, including the former FIFA executive Chuck Blazer, and two sports marketing companies had entered guilty pleas. Blazer forfeited $1.9 million when he entered his guilty plea in 2013, and agreed to make a second payment at sentencing.
...According to the indictment, several international soccer events were tainted by bribes and kickbacks involving media and marketing rights: World Cup qualifiers in the Concacaf region; the Gold Cup, a regional championship tournament; the Concacaf Champions League; the Copa América; and the South American club championship, the Copa Libertadores. The indictment also claims that bribes and kickbacks were found in connection with the selection of the host country for the 2010 World Cup.
A FIFA spokesperson was contrite about the charges but reiterated that bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Russia and Qatar will not be reopened.
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch will give a press conference today at 10:30 a.m. A full recap of her remarks, below.
- The IRS has jokes.
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