Soccer, the world's most popular sport, may not be the biggest game in America, but the U.S. Department of Justice wants to "send a message that enough is enough" when it comes to corruption in the game's international governing body
According to U.S. request, these crimes were agreed and prepared in the U.S., and payments were carried out via U.S. banks
Swiss police arrested seven FIFA officials at the behest of US authorities who have conducted a massive investigation for three long years into corruption at football's governing body.The officials were arrested for over $150M bribery scheme.
Two of the people who have been charged - Jeffrey Webb and Jack Warner - are the current and past heads of CONCACAF, the continental confederation under the auspicious of FIFA that is headquartered in the U.S., which also gives American officials jurisdiction.
FBI agents raided the headquarters of CONCACAF in Miami.The U.S. is part of CONCACAF, the FIFA-affiliated governing body for North America and the Caribbean.
Former top FIFA official Chuck Blazer with him as a cooperating witness, American officials set out to see whether corruption touched tournaments held in the Americas. Federal investigators in the United States say they think it did.
Many of the charges that were revealed involve bribery and kickback schemes.
These schemes are related to the media and marketing rights for World Cup qualifying games in the Concacaf region, as well as the Concacaf Gold Cup, the Concacaf Champions League, and several others.
"Nobody is above or beyond the law," FBI Director Comey said.
“We are pleased to see that the investigation is being energetically pursued for the good of football and believe that it will help reinforce measures that FIFA has already taken,” FIFA said.
In a statement posted on FIFA's website, the organization said it “Welcomes actions that can help contribute to rooting out any wrongdoing in football.”