More FIFA officials arrested
03 December 2015, 09:45
- Swiss authorities arrested several football officials in a fresh wave
of dawn raids early on Thursday in a dramatic widening of the FIFA corruption
scandal, the New York Times reported.
More than a dozen individuals were expected
to face charges following the latest arrests, many of which took place at the
same luxury hotel in Zurich raided by authorities in May, the Times reported.
The Times, which broke news of the police
raids earlier this year, said Swiss police entered the Baur au Lac hotel at
around 6am local time on Thursday.
A hotel manager was quoted by the newspaper
as saying that visitors in the lobby were told by staff to leave the hotel
because of an "extreme situation."
The Times report said the new arrests
targeted officials - including several from South and Central America -
suspected of involvement in racketeering, money laundering and fraud.
The arrests came as FIFA's leaders
descended on Zurich to discuss proposals aimed at reforming world football's
governing body as it reels from the worst crisis in its history.
The corruption scandal has seen FIFA
president Sepp Blatter suspended and under criminal investigation in
Switzerland, while Michel Platini, once seen as his likely successor, is also
suspended and facing a life ban from football.
Blatter was not a target in the latest
round of arrests.
The Times cited several law enforcement
officials speaking on condition of anonymity as saying that the US Justice
Department would unseal indictments in the case on Thursday morning.
The report said the FBI and United States
tax agents together with federal prosecutors in New York had been building a
case against FIFA for years.