To FIFA vice presidents, Juan Angel Napout and Alfredo Hawit, have been arrested by the Swiss authorities early this morning, December 3. Fourteen other FIFA officials were indicted later the same day on charges of racketeering, conspiracy and corruption.
According to a statement issued by the Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FOJ), the arrests were carried after a US-led investigation indicated that the two vice presidents were connected with money laundering, racketeering, and fraud.
Both Napout and Hawit are to be extradited to the US to face the accusations against them. However, the two FIFA officials are reportedly fighting the extradition effort.
Reportedly, the two men are accused of accepting bribes in return for the sale of marketing rights for football tournaments in Latin America as well as for World Cup qualifying matches.
FIFA agreed to fully cooperate with the US investigation, as well as the investigation led by the Swiss attorney general. The Swiss government is investigating the sporting body regarding allegations of fraud that concerns the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
It’s not for the first time when faces controversy. In June, Sepp Blatter, the former FIFA president, stepped down following allegations of fraud and corruption.
Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini are currently serving 90-day suspensions amid FIFA ethics investigations involving $2 million of FIFA money Blatter approved for Platini in 2011 as backdated salary.