Swiss authorities have confirmed the arrest of some top FIFA officials over corruption charges on the eve of fresh elections set to be conducted by the world football governing body.
While current President, Sepp Blatter, was not part of the six men picked up by the Swiss Police, Vice-president Jeffrey Webb from the Cayman Islands was arrested, according to the Press Association.
As reported by Sky Sports, authorities in Zurich launched an early morning operation to detain the officials on corruption charges amounting to as much as $100m, and extradite them to the United States.
It was reported that as much as a dozen plain-clothed Swiss police officers arrived unannounced at the Baur au Lac hotel where the officials were lodged.
The police officers took the room keys from the reception and headed to the room of the officials to effect the arrest. The New York Times said the operation was carried out peacefully.
The identity of some of those arrested has been given by the BBC to include Jeffrey Webb – head of the confederation for North and Central America and the Caribbean.
Others are Costa Rica’s Eduardo Li, who was due to join Fifa’s executive committee on Friday, Uruguay’s Eugenio Figueredo, president of South American football governing body Conmebol and Brazil’s Jose Maria Marin, a member of Fifa’s club committee.
Presently, officials from 209-member nations including Nigeria are gathering in Zurich for the FIFA Congress where incumbent Blatter faces a challenge from Jordan’s Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein in a presidential election on Friday.
FIFA has overtime has been at the center of myriad of corruption accusations and this may prove to be the final straw that would break the multibillion dollar organization.
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