Fifa executives accepted bribes to help secure the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the US Attorney General Loretta Lynch has said.
Source : BBC News
Ms Lynch was giving details of the US investigation into football’s governing body.
She also alleged bribery was involved in Fifa’s 2011 presidential election and the 2016 Copa America tournament, due to take place in the US.
Seven sports officials were arrested in Switzerland on Thursday morning.
They are among 14 indicted on corruption charges, accused of accepting bribes and kickbacks estimated at more than $150m (£97m) over a 24-year period.
Fifa executives “used their positions to solicit bribes,” said Ms Lynch. “They did this over and over, year after year, tournament after tournament.”
One of those indicted, former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner, took $10 million in bribes from the South African government over the 2010 World Cup, the indictment alleged.
The Swiss have also opened a separate investigation into the bidding process for the World Cup tournaments in 2018 in Russia and 2022 in Qatar.
Swiss police said they would question 10 Fifa executive committee members who participated in the votes that selected the two countries.
This is the “beginning, not the end, of the investigation”, Acting US Attorney Kelly Currie said.