It appears that the United States government is going after many expected to have received bribes during the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process. The U.S. asked Swiss police to arrest a number of FIFA executives while they were in Zurich to vote on the next FIFA president.
Switzerland has an extradition pact with the United States when it involves non-tax-related crimes.
The current FIFA president Sepp Blatter wasn’t one of the executives arrested in Zurich…and he isn’t expected to visit the United States any time soon.
Which FIFA executives have been named as those allegedly arrested or detained? We give you a list of those we’ve heard so far.
The detained FIFA executives are looking at charges for racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy. The United States state department casts a wide net when it comes to racketeering and conspiracy. All the conspirator has to do is use a bank based in the United States or use an internet service provider in the U.S.
The media picked up on this news story quite fast. I can only imagine that the New York Times and a few other media outlets were tipped off. A large swarm of media was already in Zurich to cover the FIFA presidential election.
According to the New York Times, here is a list of those who have allegedly been either arrested or detained in Zurich:
- Jeffrey Webb (Cayman Islands) – President of CONCACAF, member of FIFA Executive Committee
- Eugenio Figueredo (Uruguay) – President of CONMEBOL, member of FIFA Executive Committee
- Jack Warner (Trinida and Tobago) – President of CONCACAF from 1990 to 2011, former FIFA vice-president
- Eduardo Li (Costa Rica) – President of the Costa Rican Football Federation, CONCACAF representative to FIFA
- Julio Rocha (Nicaragua) – President of the Nicaraguan Football Federation, FIFA development officer
- Costas Takkas (Cayman Islands) – Former general secretary of the Cayman Islands Football Association
- Rafael Esquivel (Venezuela) – President of the Venezuelan Football Federation since 1988, member of the FIFA disciplinary committee
- José Maria Marin (Brazil) – President of the Brazilian Football Confederation from 2012 to 2015, president of the 2014 FIFA World Cup committee
- Nicolás Leoz (Paraguay) – President of CONMEBOL from 1986 to 2013
- Alejandro Burzaco (Argentina) – CEO of Torneos y Competencias, which owns various sports television channels and broadcasted Argentine domestic football matches from 1992 to 2009, and the 2006 World Cup
- Aaron Davidson (United States) – President of Traffic Sports USA, which organizes and handles marketing for a variety of CONCACAF soccer events, like World Cup Qualifying and the Gold Cup. Chairman of the Board of the North American Soccer League, the soccer tier below MLS
- Hugo Jinkis (Argentina) – President of Full Play, which owns some sort of rights (I am unclear which ones) to hundreds of South American soccer matches
- Mariano Jinkis (Argentina) – CEO of Full Play, which owns some sort of rights (I am unclear which ones) to hundreds of South American soccer matches
- José Margulies (Unknown) – Margulies is somehow involved with Traffic Sports
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.