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Loretta Lynch: Arrested Officials 'Corrupted World Soccer'

Image: Loretta Lynch: Arrested Officials 'Corrupted World Soccer'
Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announces charges against FIFA officials at a news conference in New York. (Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

Wednesday, 27 May 2015 11:26 AM

The soccer officials arrested on Wednesday in an investigation into the FIFA governing body have corrupted the international game, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Wednesday.

"They corrupted the business of worldwide soccer to serve their interests and to enrich themselves," Lynch told a news conference called to discuss indictments unsealed by US authorities.

She added: "This Department of Justice is determined to end these practices to root out corruption and bring wrongdoers to justice."

She spoke after Swiss authorities acting on the US indictments detained several FIFA leaders in a dawn raid in Zurich as part of a corruption probe that has rocked the sport's governing body.

US officials would not be drawn on whether or not other senior FIFA figures not named in the indictment, such as the body's president Sepp Blatter could be charged, but Kelly Currie, acting US attorney for the eastern district of New York, said Wednesday's actions mark the beginning rather than the end of the probe.

Lynch also said that the US investigation into marketing kickbacks was separate but parallel to a Swiss investigation into allegations of bribery in the process of awarding the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar.

"It was a World Cup of Fraud. Today we are showing them the red card," said Richard Weber, chief of the US tax agency's criminal investigation division.

"Beginning in 1991, two generations of soccer officials," Lynch said, "used their positions of trust within their respective organizations to solicit bribes from sports marketers in exchange for the commercial rights to their soccer tournaments. They did this over and over, year after year, tournament after tournament."

Citing an example, Lynch said that in preparation for the 2016 Copa American being held in the United States for the first time, $110 million in bribes were paid.

"Our investigation revealed that what should be an expression of international sportsmanship was used as a vehicle in a broader scheme to line executives' pockets," Lynch said in New York.

 

 

© AFP 2017

   
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The soccer officials arrested on Wednesday in an investigation into the FIFA governing body have corrupted the international game, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Wednesday. They corrupted the business of worldwide soccer to serve their interests and to enrich...
fbl, FIFA, corruption, US, Lynch
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2015-26-27
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 11:26 AM
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