IFWT_FIFA officials

The world collectively said FINALLY!

The Justice Department unsealed a 47 count indictment early Wednesday charging 14 world soccer figures, including officials of FIFA, with racketeering, bribery, money laundering and fraud. Four of those accused, including two sports marketing companies, have already pleaded guilty and are likely to be cooperating.

Among the “alleged schemes,” said the Justice Department, were kickbacks to FIFA officials by executives and companies involved in soccer marketing and “bribes and kickbacks in connection” with “the selection of the host country for the 2010 World Cup and the 2011 FIFA presidential election,” the Justice Department said.

Swiss prosecutors, in a related announcement, said they had opened criminal proceedings against unidentified individuals on suspicion of mismanagement and money laundering related to the awarding of rights to host the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

FIFA said those awards to Qatar and Russia would not be reconsidered.

Those charged, the Justice Department said, “include U.S. and South American sports marketing executives who are alleged to have systematically paid and agreed to pay well over $150 million in bribes and kickbacks to obtain lucrative media and marketing rights to international soccer tournaments.”

“Jeffrey Webb and Jack Warner – the current and former presidents of CONCACAF, the continental confederation under FIFA headquartered in the United States – are among the soccer officials charged with racketeering and bribery offenses,” the Justice Department said.

Those indicted, in addition to Webb and Warner, include:

– Eduardo Li, current FIFA executive committee president and president of the Costa Rican soccer federation.

– Julio Rocha, current FIFA development officer and former head of the Central American Football Union.

– Costas Takkas, an attache and former general secretary of the Cayman Islands Football Association.

– Eugenio Figueredo, current FIFA vice president and executive committee members.

– Rafael Esquivel, president of the Venezuelan soccer federation.

– Jose Maria Marin, member of the FIFA organizing committee for the Olympic football tournaments.

– Nicolas Leoz, former FIFA executive committee member.

– Alejandro Burzaco, a sports marketing executive based in Argentina.

– Aaron Davidson, president of Traffic Sports USA.

– Hugo and Mariano Jinkis, principals of Full Play Group, a sports marketing business based in Argentina.

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Source: Washington Post