Football’s governing body has been rocked, after six of their officials, including vice-president Jeffrey Webb, were arrested on suspicion of corruption this morning, according to BBC
Swiss police raided a hotel in Zurich where the members of FIFA were staying, and held the suspects at the request of the US Department of Justice.
The BBC report that they are being held under suspicion of receiving millions of US dollars in bribes from the early 1990s right through to the present day. And now the Swiss police are looking into the awarding of the right to host both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, to Russia and Qatar respectively.
FIFA held a press conference following the sensational events of the morning, and the organisation’s spokesperson Walter de Gregorio confirmed that the two upcoming tournaments will be still be held in the countries they were awarded to, The Guardian report.
“The World Cups will be played in Russia and Qatar,” he simply insisted.
Despite the negative publicity the incidents have brought, de Gregorio has explained that these arrests are a good thing for the game.
“This for FIFA is good. It is not good in terms of image or reputation, but in terms of cleaning up, this is good,” he added.
Although de Gregorio tried to claim that these was a positive for the heavily-scrutinised organisation, it could not have come at a worse time for FIFA. This Friday will see current man at the top Sepp Blatter battle it out with Prince Ali of Jordan in the presidential election.
However, BBC report that Blatter – who is seeking his fifth term – is not one of those that has been arrested.