Only hours before the start of Fifa’s Congress in Zurich, six senior Fifa officials have been arrested in early-morning raids by Swiss authorities – with 14 people understood to be facing corruption charges worldwide.
Officers carried out the dawn raid at the five star Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich, with the Fifa vice-president Jeffrey Webb understood to be among the six detained.
Sepp Blatter was not one of those arrested. Fifa’s spokesman Walter de Gregorio told the Associated Press: “He is not involved at all.”
The Swiss Federal Office of Justice said the officials were arrested pending extradition to the US on suspicion of receiving bribes totalling $100m.
The New York Times reported that the charges arising from an FBI inquiry include wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering, with the US Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch due to hold a news conference later on Wednesday.
NBC’s Bill Neely makes this observation after it emerged that the US charges relate to alleged offences connected to tournaments in the US and Latin America.
So far the names of four officials have been released: Eduardo Li, Jeffrey Webb, Jose Maria Marin and Eugenio Figueredo.
Webb and Figueredo are Fifa vice-presidents. Li was due to join the executive committee on Friday and Marin is a former member of the executive committee.
The New York Times says charges “were also expected against” sports marketing executives Alejandro Burzaco, Aaron Davidson, Hugo Jinkis and Mariano Jinkis.
It said José Margulies has also been charged for allegedly facilitating illegal payments.