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New wave of arrests in FIFA scandal: Report

More than a dozen individuals were expected to face charges following the latest arrests in Zurich.

By: AFP | New York | Published: December 3, 2015 2:35:48 pm
FIFA, FIFA football, Football FIFA, FIFA corruption, Corruption FIFA, FIFA elections, football news, football Swiss police carried out raids against FIFA officials in connection with corruption investigations. (Source: AP)

Swiss authorities arrested several football officials in a fresh wave of dawn raids early on Thursday in a dramatic widening of the FIFA corruption scandal, the New York Times reported.

More than a dozen individuals were expected to face charges following the latest arrests, many of which took place at the same luxury hotel in Zurich raided by authorities in May, the Times reported.

The Times, which broke news of the police raids earlier this year, said Swiss police entered the Baur au Lac hotel at around 6am local time on Thursday.

A hotel manager was quoted by the newspaper as saying that visitors in the lobby were told by staff to leave the hotel because of an “extreme situation.”

The Times report said the new arrests targeted officials — including several from South and Central America — suspected of involvement in racketeering, money laundering and fraud.

The arrests came as FIFA’s leaders descended on Zurich to discuss proposals aimed at reforming world football’s governing body as it reels from the worst crisis in its history.

The corruption scandal has seen FIFA president Sepp Blatter suspended and under criminal investigation in Switzerland, while Michel Platini, once seen as his likely successor, is also suspended and facing a life ban from football.

Blatter was not a target in the latest round of arrests.

The Times cited several law enforcement officials speaking on condition of anonymity as saying that the US Justice Department would unseal indictments in the case on Thursday morning.

The report said the FBI and United States tax agents together with federal prosecutors in New York had been building a case against FIFA for years.

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