Statement by Swiss Federal Office of Justice on arrest of FIFA officials

FIFA-1Zurich, Switzerland — ‘By order of the Federal Office of Justice (FOJ), six soccer officials were arrested in Zurich today (Wednesday) and detained pending extradition.

‘The US authorities suspect them of having received bribes totaling in the USD millions.

The six soccer functionaries were arrested today in Zurich by the Zurich Cantonal Police.

‘The FOJ’s arrest warrants were issued further to a request by the US authorities. The US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York is investigating these individuals on suspicion of the acceptance of bribes and kick-backs between the early 1990s and the present day.

‘The bribery suspects – representatives of sports media and sports promotion firms – are alleged to have been involved in schemes to make payments to the soccer functionaries – delegates of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) and other functionaries of FIFA sub-organizations – totaling more than USD 100 million.

‘In return, it is believed that they received media, marketing, and sponsorship rights in connection with soccer tournaments in Latin America.

‘According to the US request, these crimes were agreed and prepared in the US, and payments were carried out via US banks.

‘The Zurich Cantonal Police will question the detainees today on behalf of the FOJ regarding the US request for their arrest. A simplified procedure will apply for wanted persons who agree to their immediate extradition.

‘The FOJ can immediately approve their extradition to the US and order its execution.

‘However, if a wanted person opposes their extradition, the FOJ will invite the US to submit a formal extradition request within the deadline of 40 days specified in the bilateral extradition treaty.’

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