New evidence in Fifa probe may result in more charges

US Attorney General says more individuals and entities may be charged in Fifa investigation. (Reuters)

US Attorney General says more individuals and entities may be charged in Fifa investigation. (Reuters)

US Attorney-General Loretta Lynch said more individuals and entities may be charged as the Department of Justice continues its pledge to clean up world soccer’s governing body.

“The problem of corruption in soccer is global, and we will remain vigilant in our efforts to support a global response,” she said.

Days after Fifa’s compliance chief went public with his recommendations to make the sport’s global governing body more transparent, Lynch is outlining the next steps in her push to root out corruption in the game. Swiss police arrested seven Fifa officials in Zurich in May on the eve of the organization’s annual congress after the US Department of Justice charged them with crimes including racketeering and money laundering. Six of the seven remain behind bars in Zurich awaiting a decision on whether the Swiss will extradite them to the US.

Swiss Attorney-General Michael Lauber, who is leading a separate probe into alleged wrongdoing into how host nations Russia and Qatar were selected for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments, also spoke at the press conference. As part of the case they opened in May against “persons unknown on suspicion of criminal mismanagement,” Swiss prosecutors seized documents from Fifa headquarters and are now sifting through transactions involving hundreds of suspicious Swiss bank accounts brought to their attention by the country’s Money-Laundering Reporting Office.

Domenico Scala, the chairman of Fifa’s audit and compliance committee, said on September 10 that he suggested term limits for senior Fifa officials and that making those recommendations public was important to making the reform process transparent.

Francois Carrard, the head of Fifa’s reform committee, told reporters on September 3 that a list of reform proposals probably won’t be ready before December and declined to say what he’d discussed in a two-day meeting of his committee. Carrard, a Swiss lawyer, was approached for the job by a member of the executive committee. Carrard said Sepp Blatter, the long- standing Fifa president who is stepping down in February despite his recent reelection, wasn’t the official who reached out to him. – Bloomberg



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