U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Monday that she anticipated “pursuing additional charges against individuals and entities” in the government’s ongoing probe into corruption within FIFA and soccer more generally.
Lynch made the statement at a joint news conference with Swiss authorities in Zurich, where she touted the breadth of the investigation as well as the cooperation with other authorities:
Separate and apart from the pending indictment, our investigation remains active and it is ongoing. And it in fact has expanded since May. As I made clear at our initial announcement, the scope of our investigation is not limited, and we are following the evidence where it leads. I am grateful for the significant cooperation and substantial evidence that we have received from all quarters. Based upon that cooperation and new evidence, we do anticipate pursuing additional charges against individuals and entities. The problem of corruption in soccer is global, and we will remain vigilant in our efforts to support a global response.
Lynch’s Swiss counterpart Michael Lauber also announced that he was specifically looking into an undervalued television rights contract that FIFA president Sepp Blatter signed, awarding the rights to the arrested former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner. Here’s The Guardian on the details of what Lauber is investigating:
The latest revelation emerged after Swiss broadcaster SRF uncovered a 2005 contract in which the Warner-controlled Caribbean Football Union were sold the broadcast rights to the 2010 and 2014 World Cups for $600,000. The Trinidadian, at that time CFU’s president, sub-licensed those rights to his own Cayman Islands-registered company J & D International (JDI), according to the Press Association.
In 2007, JDI sold on the rights to Jamaica-based cable TV station SportsMax for a value that the broadcaster reported on its own website as being between $18m and $20m.
Originally, the Swiss investigation concentrated upon how the 2018 (Russia) and 2022 (Qatar) World Cup bids were awarded. But the AP reports that the scope seems to be widening, and that Swiss authorities have seized property as well as raided houses, yielding papers and important information leading them closer to Blatter:
“We have a lot of facts at the moment out of house searches and out of the documents we received,” said Lauber, when asked about an allegation that Blatter knowingly undersold World Cup television rights for the Caribbean in exchange for political support.
Sepp Blatter—who, despite announcing that he would resign over three months ago, is still FIFA’s president—is already afraid of entering the United States and Canada (but he’ll go to Russia!). But with Swiss authorities now seriously investigating him personally, it looks like even his home country isn’t safe.
Photo via AP