FIFA has released a statement following the nine arrests of officials in Switzerland amidst a massive investigation into corruption in the organization.
[ RELATED: Nine FIFA officials arrested ]
The statement claims FIFA is “fully cooperating” with the investigation, and supports anything that will help the “rooting out of any wrongdoing in football.”
There is a press conference scheduled for 10:30 a.m. ET, led by U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the FBI to discuss the matter.
Below are selected sections of FIFA’s statement. You can read the full statement here.
FIFA welcomes actions that can help contribute to rooting out any wrongdoing in football. We understand that today’s actions by the Swiss Federal Office of Justice on behalf of the US authorities and the Swiss Office of the Attorney General (initiated by FIFA through the submission of the file on the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup bidding process) relate to different matters.
Today, the Swiss Office of the Attorney General announced that it has opened criminal proceedings against persons unknown in relation to the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup™ bidding process. FIFA is fully cooperating with the investigation and is supporting the collection of evidence in this regard. As noted by the Swiss authorities, this collection of evidence is being carried out on a cooperative basis.
We are pleased to see that the investigation is being energetically pursued for the good of football and believe that it will help to reinforce measures that FIFA has already taken.”
The FBI’s investigation was focused on alleged corruption and bribery of certain FIFA officials. After the arrests were carried out, the Swiss government opened its own investigation over the allocation of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which are scheduled to be held in Russia and Qatar, respectively.
As this dramatic story unfolds in Switzerland, ProSoccerTalk will keep you updated throughout the day.