In 2015, U.S. federal prosecutors disclosed cases of corruption by officials and associates connected with the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the governing body of association football, futsal and beach soccer.

Near the end of May 2015, fourteen people were indicted in connection with an investigation by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI) into wire fraud, racketeering, and money laundering. The United States Attorney General simultaneously announced the unsealing of the indictments and the prior guilty pleas by four football executives and two corporations.

The investigation mostly revolved around collusion between officials of continental football bodies CONMEBOL (South America) and CONCACAF (Caribbean, Central and North America), and sports marketing executives. The sports marketing executives were holders of media and marketing rights for high-profile international competitions including the Americas’ FIFA World Cup qualifying tournaments, and showpiece tournaments CONCACAF Gold Cup and Copa América.

CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb, also serving president of the Cayman Islands Football Association, was arrested in connection with the investigation, as were two sitting FIFA Executive Committee members: Eduardo Li of the Costa Rican Football Federation and Eugenio Figueredo, formerly of the Uruguayan Football Association, and former CONMEBOL President Nicolás Leoz. The investigation lasted several years, with the first arrest, of former CONCACAF president Jack Warner’s son Daryll, made in July 2013.

In total, seven current FIFA officials were arrested at the Hotel Baur au Lac in Zürich on 27 May. They were preparing to attend the 65th FIFA Congress, which was scheduled to include the election of the president of FIFA. They are expected to be extradited to the United States on suspicion of receiving US$150 million in bribes. There was also a simultaneous raid on the CONCACAF headquarters in Miami, and later, two further men handed themselves in to police for arrest: Jack Warner and marketing executive Alejandro Burzaco. Two further arrests of FIFA officials at the hotel occurred in December 2015.

The arrests case triggered Australia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Germany and Switzerland to open or intensify separate criminal investigations into top FIFA officials for corruption.

Television rights

In September 2015, Swiss public television channel SRF published that Blatter would have sold the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup rights in North America for US$600,000, a small fraction of their market value.

Torneos & Traffic (T&T) is a subsidiary of Fox International Channels since 2005 (with investments since 2002) is the same company involved in corrupt practices in the acquisition of rights to major South American football tournaments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *