Seven FIFA executives are arrested in Zurich hotel raid over claims they took £65million in bribes as police launch money laundering probe into award of Russia and Qatar World Cups
Criminal proceedings have been opened over the allocation of the 2018 and 2022 football World Cups to Russia and Qatar, plunging FIFA into unprecedented turmoil on a day of sensational developments.
The revelation came just hours after seven high-ranking FIFA executives were arrested this morning during a dramatic dawn raid at a five-star hotel in Switzerland over allegations of bribery totalling more than £60million over the past 25 years.
They are accused of breeding decades of ‘rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted’ corruption within the scandal-hit world football organisation, the U.S. justice department said.
The timing of the arrests was explosive – coming just two days before the FIFA presidential election, which has already been dogged by controversy and claims of corruption.
Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney General later said it was investigating unidentified individuals on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and of money-laundering in connection with FIFA’s decision to award the 2018 and 2022 tournaments to Russia and Qatar respectively.