2 FIFA vice presidents among 7 arrests in Zurich
ZURICH (AP) — U.S. authorities say two current FIFA vice presidents are among the seven soccer officials arrested and detained in Zurich by Swiss police at the request of U.S. authorities.
The U.S. Department of Justice says FIFA vice presidents Jeffrey Webb from the Cayman Islands and Eugenio Figueredo of Uruguay were arrested early Wednesday at the lakeside Baur au Lac Hotel in Zurich.
The others arrested included Eduardo Li of Costa Rica, Julio Rocha of Nicaragua, Costas Takkas of Britain, Rafael Esquivel of Venezuela and Jose Maria Marin of Brazil. All seven are connected with the regional soccer confederations of North and South America.
U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said in a statement Wednesday that “the indictment alleges corruption that is rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted both abroad and here in the United States.”
She says the corruption “spans at least two generations of soccer officials who, as alleged, have abused their positions of trust to acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks.”
Swiss federal prosecutors have opened criminal proceedings related to the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, throwing FIFA deeper into crisis only hours after the arrests in a separate U.S. corruption probe.
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