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Published: 10:28 | 15/12/15

Further charges against FIFA officials


US attorney general Loretta Lynch has warned her investigation is far from over as it was revealed 16 more officials have been charged by US authorities investigating corruption at FIFA.

The US Department of Justice released details of the new indictments on Thursday evening, hours after the arrests of two FIFA vice-presidents, Alfredo Hawit of Honduras and Juan Angel Napout of Paraguay, in Zurich with the new charges against 16 officials for sums totalling $200 million.

Former Brazil football federation chief Ricardo Teixeira is one of those alleged to have received 'brides and kickbacks' from FIFA's former marketing company ISL, while it was revealed that former Caribbean football chief Jack Warner and his successor Jeffrey Webb embezzled money destined for the poorest country in their confederation.

Warner is accused of diverting emergency funds donated by FIFA and the Korean Football Association intended for victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

Commenting on the indictments, US attorney Robert Capers said: "The 16 defendants charged include high-ranking FIFA officials in Concacaf and Conmebol. Those include Alfredo Hawit and Juan Angel Napout, the current presidents.

"Also included are the current former general secretaries of Concacaf and Conmebol. One of the men is alleged to have taken millions of dollars in bribes as treasurer of Conmebol. Amazingly, he is now a member of FIFA's Audit and Compliance Committee – one of FIFA's sub-committees charged with developing reform proposals.

"Also included, the president of the soccer iterations in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and the current president of the Brazilian Soccer Federation, Marco Polo Del Nero.

"Finally, also charged are the former presidents of the soccer federations of Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Peru.

"The defendants and their co-conspirators are alleged to have corrupted the enterprise by engaging in activities like fraud, bribery, and money laundering over the course of two generations. They did this primarily through kickbacks from sports marketing executives.

"Today's superseding indictment also includes new details about the systematic payment of rights of sports marketing executives in six Central American member associations within Concacaf.

"The numbers involved are staggering. Tens of millions. The bribe payers agreed to pay the officials between $400,000 and $600,000 per year, and, in some cases, up to $1m as long as those officials remained in office.

US attorney general Lynch added: "The betrayal of trust set forth here is outrageous. The scale of corruption alleged herein is unconscionable.

"And the message from this announcement should be clear to every culpable individual who remains in the shadows, hoping to evade our investigation: you will not wait us out; you will not escape our focus."

Meanwhile, on Thursday it was announced that Webb had pleaded guilty to money laundering, wire fraud and racketeering.

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