June 24, 2021

Fifa crisis: US charges 16 more officials after earlier Zurich arrests; Webb pleads guilty

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_87008698_fifasplitFrom BBC

US officials investigating corruption at football’s world governing body Fifa have charged 16 more officials.

The new indictment, released by the Department of Justice in Washington, comes hours after the arrest of two Fifa vice-presidents in Zurich.

Former Brazil football federation chief Ricardo Teixeira was among those accused of being “involved in criminal schemes involving well over $200m (£132m) in bribes and kickbacks”.

Fifa said it would “fully co-operate”.

Current Brazil football president Marco Polo del Nero is also on the new “superseding” 92-count indictment, which alleges “racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies” with “sustained abuse of [the defendants’] positions for financial gain”.

The current and former senior football executives charged are:

Alfredo Hawit – Concacaf president
Ariel Alvarado – ex-Panamanian football official
Rafael Callejas – former president of Honduras football
Brayan Jimenez – Guatemala FA chief
Rafael Salguero – Guatemalan Fifa executive committee member
Hector Trujillo – general secretary of Guatemala FA
Reynaldo Vasquez – former El Salvador FA president
Juan Angel Napout – Conmebol president
Manuel Burga – former Peru FA president
Carlos Chavez – Bolivia football president
Luis Chiriboga – Ecuador football president
Marco Polo del Nero – Brazil football president
Eduardo Deluca – Conmebol general secretary
Jose Luis Meiszner – former Conmebol secretary general
Romer Osuna – Bolivia football audit and compliance committee chief
Ricardo Teixeira – former Brazil FA chief

US attorney general Loretta Lynch said: “The betrayal of trust set forth here is outrageous. The scale of corruption alleged herein is unconscionable.

“And the message from this announcement should be clear to every culpable individual who remains in the shadows, hoping to evade our investigation: you will not wait us out; you will not escape our focus.”

Earlier, Hawit and Napout were held in a dawn raid at the Baur au Lac hotel, Zurich, arrested on suspicion of accepting millions of dollars of bribes, at the request of the US authorities. The US is attempting to extradite them.

The Swiss hotel is the same location where several Fifa officials were arrested in May.

Fifa’s executive committee has been meeting in the city, voting on reforms.
What else is on the new indictment?

Webb pleads guilty

In May, nine Fifa officials and five sports and broadcast marketing executives were indicted by US prosecutors on corruption charges as the governing body became engulfed by claims of widespread wrongdoing.

On Thursday, it was announced that one of those defendants – former Concacaf president Jeffrey Webb, has pleaded guilty to money laundering, wire fraud and racketeering and has agreed to forfeit $6.7m (£4.4m).

He did not contest his extradition to the US.

For more on this story go to: http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/34991874

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