Now it’s South America’s turn. The FIFA scandal took a new turn as a graft probe charged 16 Latin American bosses with multi-million dollar bribery schemes on marketing and television rights. U.S. prosecutors on Thursday dismantled a soccer network as well.
Court documents show that chiefs of CONMEBOL and CONCACAF were involved along with the chief of the Brazil Football Confederation, which hosted World Cup 2014. Ecuador on Saturday ordered the arrest of their soccer chief Luis Chiriboga after the U.S. official announced he was one of the 16 men charged with bribery scam.
Arrest warrants were issued against two officials, too. The three including Chiriboga were ordered to be in house arrest as required by law since they are all above 65. Earlier, Rafael Callejas, former president of Honduras and a judge on Guatemalan constitutional court, Héctor Trujillo, were arrested due to their alleged involvement in the scandal.
In a predawn raid of a Zurich-hotel near FIFA headquarters, Alfredo Hawit, a vice president of FIFA, along with CONMEBOL head Juan Angel Napout of Paraguay, were picked up by the Swiss police. U.S. attorney general Loretta Lynch said that corruption has become deeply ingrained in soccer.
“The betrayal of trust that is set forth here is truly outrageous, and the scale of corruption alleged herein is unconscionable,” Loretta said in a statement.