The U.S. Department of Justice published an indictment of soccer and marketing officials in May which alleged bribery linked to awarding broadcast rights for international tournaments in North and South America.
In the wake of the corruption probe into FIFA, the world soccer governing body, the FIFA President Sepp Blattner announced his resignation and seven officials were detained in May during raids on a luxury hotel in Zurich. The U.S. has asked Switzerland to extradite the seven officials, including three current former members of FIFA’s executive committee. All seven objected to the extradition as they each face ~20 years in prison if convicted in the United States. FIFA Blattner is also the target of an investigation which is expected to bring more indictments.
The investigation alleges bribery and racketeering worth more than $150 million involving high-ranking FIFA officials over a 24-year span. “These crimes are thought to have been agreed and prepared in the USA, and payments were allegedly routed through U.S. banks,” the Swiss justice ministry said in a statement.
It’s sad to know that corruption exists everywhere – even in the beloved world of soccer. This probe goes to show that corruption doesn’t pay, and those who participate in bribery will eventually be caught and brought to justice.