Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch and other U.S. law enforcement officials launched a sweeping effort to clean up corruption in world soccer that she termed “rampant, systemic and deep-rooted” Wednesday, indicting 14 influential figures in the globe’s most popular sport on racketeering and bribery charges.
In a series of remarkable scenes, FBI agents raided international offices in Miami Beach, while Swiss authorities working with the United States escorted some of the game’s highest dignitaries from a five-star hotel in Zurich, where they were meeting, and detained them for extradition.
Officials from the Justice Department, FBI and IRS jointly announced the indictments of nine officials from soccer’s world governing body, known as FIFA, and five sports executives at a news conference at the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York. The 47-count indictment spelled out how $150 million in bribes were allegedly solicited by FIFA officials for vote-rigging to send events to certain countries or steer business to various companies.
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