FIFA headquarters raided by Swiss authorities

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Saturday, June 4, 2016

FIFA logo.

FIFA Headquarter in Zürich in 2009.
Image: MCaviglia.

On Thursday, Swiss officials carried out a surprise search of Fédération Internationale de Football Association’s headquarters in Zürich, Switzerland. The raid was conducted as a part of the investigation into corruption regarding the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup bids.

The raid was conducted by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) of Switzerland with the aim of “confirming existing findings and obtaining further information”, according to a statement.

Since the seized documents and electronic data were examined reports have since linked FIFA with giving secret pay rises to high-ranking former FIFA officials Sepp Blatter, Jerome Valcke and Markus Kattner, totaling 79 million Swiss francs (£55 million).

Bill Burck of the United States law firm, Quinn Emanuel, stated “The evidence appears to reveal a coordinated effort by three former top officials of FIFA to enrich themselves through annual salary increases, World Cup bonuses and other incentives totaling more than 79m Swiss francs in just the last five years.”

The evidence presented by FIFA lawyers will be handed to Swiss federal prosecutors and the US justice department for their ongoing investigations into the financial scandal.

This was the second search relating to FIFA officials this year, as Swiss police raided Union of European Football Associations’ headquarters in Nyon in early April following the outbreak of the Panama Papers. The previous search linking the current FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, with two businessmen who have since been associated with the corruption scandal. Infantino has denied all allegations of wrongdoing in regards to the seized documents and no action has been taken against him as yet.


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