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U.S. Brings Corruption Charges Against 16 More FIFA Officials

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The U.S. Department of Justice has indicted an additional 16 international soccer officials on various corruption charges, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced at a news conference Thursday. The indictments include five current or former members of FIFA’s executive board.

Swiss authorities arrested two members of the executive committee, Alfredo Hawit and Juan Ángel Napout, prior to FIFA meetings in Zurich on Thursday. Hawit is the president of CONCACAF, the confederation that oversees soccer in North and Central America and the Caribbean. Napout is the president of CONMEBOL, the South American soccer confederation.

The officials engaged in money laundering, racketeering and wire fraud as part of “a 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through the corruption of international soccer,” the Justice Department wrote in a release.

“The scale of corruption here is unconscionable,” Lynch said.

The 92-count indictment also includes charges against Marco Polo del Nero and Ricardo Teixeira, the current and former presidents of the Brazilian soccer federation, and CONMEBOL’s current and former general secretaries, José Luís Meiszner and Eduardo Deluca. The Justice Department also indicted officials who have served in the Guatemalan, Honduran, Panamanian, Paraguayan and Peruvian soccer federations, among others.

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