FIFA Executives Charged by U.S., Arrested in Switzerland

Caroline Bauman

The Gist:

Swiss police officers arrested six FIFA executives May 27, 2015, in Zurich. These arrests were the first in a massive U.S. Department of Justice investigation. The DOJ launched a 47-count indictment against 14 defendants, which include the arrested FIFA executives, as well as sports marketing executives and the owner of a broadcast corporation.

What are the charges?

The charges include racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering.

The indictment, covering alleged crimes that took place over 24 years, is for receiving more than $150 million in bribes and kickbacks from sports-marketing executives in exchange for broadcast and marketing rights said soccer officials.

It was allegedly Latin America where much of the corruption stemmed from.

Who is involved?

Some of the biggest names involved in the scandal include the current FIFA vice president and the former CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football) general secretary. Note that FIFA President Sepp Blatter is currently not listed in the case.

Blatter’s resignation

Sepp Blatter stepped down just four days after he was re-elected to a fifth term as FIFA President. His resignation has left more questions than answers.

It’s unclear why he decided to step down after re-election and not when the corruption first broke. “The rising pressure from the U.S. investigation into corruption looks the most likely source,” according to the BBC. “Just hours after his resignation, reports emerged in U.S. media the FBI had begun investigating him directly.”

  • What will FIFA do going forward?
  • How have corporate sponsors responded to the scandal?
  • Haven’t we heard FIFA was corrupt before?

Full brief at

Brief contributed by Caroline Bauman.

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