Loretta Lynch: Indicted FIFA officials ‘corrupted the business of worldwide soccer’
On Wednesday morning, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey, and IRS criminal division head Richard Weber held a press conference in Brooklyn to discuss the indictment of nine FIFA officials on corruption charges. Lynch announced the unsealing of the 47 charges, which include money laundering, conspiracy, using bribes to influence hosting decisions, and soliciting bribes from sports marketers.
Lynch said that the FIFA officials, as well as five indicted sports-marketing executives, “corrupted the business of worldwide soccer to serve their interests,” and added that they will be brought to justice. The officials have agreed to return millions of dollars accepted in bribes.
The surprise arrests were carried out early Wednesday morning by plainclothes police officers as soccer’s governing world body gathered in Zurich, Switzerland for FIFA’s annual meeting. While FIFA’s powerful longtime president, Sepp Blatter, isn’t among those indicted, the arrests are a blow to his tenure, and could put his presumed election to a fifth term — set for Friday — in jeopardy. Meghan DeMaria