Sport Swiss police arrest Fifa officials in Zurich

Swiss police arrest Fifa officials in Zurich

The raid took place at a five star hotel in Zurich early on Wednesday
The raid took place at a five star hotel in Zurich early on Wednesday

Six football officials have been arrested over corruption charges at governing body Fifa, at a hotel in Zurich, Switzerland.

The suspects, who are said to include a Fifa vice-president, have been detained pending extradition to the US.

It involves alleged bribes worth about $100m (£65m; €92m) over two decades.

Fifa members are gathering in Zurich for their annual meeting on Friday, where incumbent President Sepp Blatter is seeking a fifth term.

However, Mr Blatter is not understood to be one of those arrested.

The New York Times says plain-clothed police officers took the room keys from the reception of Baur au Lac hotel, where the officials were staying, and headed to their rooms. It said the operation was carried out peacefully.

Jeffrey Webb – head of the confederation for North and Central America and the Caribbean – has been named as one of the officials arrested, says the BBC’s Richard Conway, who is at the Zurich hotel.

Other Fifa officials seen escorted by police from the hotel include:

  • Costa Rica’s Eduardo Li, who was due to join Fifa’s executive committee on Friday
  • Uruguay’s Eugenio Figueredo, president of South American football governing body Conmebol
  • Brazil’s Jose Maria Marin, a member of Fifa’s club committee. Police were seen carrying his suitcase and some of his possessions in plastic bagsA Fifa spokesman said the organisation was seeking to clarify the situation.The Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) said in a statement on Wednesday that US authorities suspected the officials of receiving $100m worth of bribes since the early 1990s. The crimes were agreed to and prepared in the US via US bank accounts, it adds.

    Swiss authorities can immediately approve the extradition, the statement continues.

    The information reveals that Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan – Sepp Blatter’s rival for Fifa presidency – and his advisers will meet later on Wednesday to discuss the impact of the arrests on the presidential election this Friday.

    Earlier this month, Mr Blatter said he was aware some of his former colleagues were under investigation.

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