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Six FIFA officials arrested in Zurich over graft

Updated: 2015-05-27 14:29

Six FIFA officials arrested in Zurich over graft

FIFA president Sepp Blatter wears headphones during a joint news conference with Ofer Eini (not pictured), chairman of the Israel Football Association, in Jerusalem May 19, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

The Times said much of the enquiry was focused on the CONCACAF region, which governs soccer in the North America, Central America and the Caribbean.

The confederation's former boss Jack Warner was regularly dogged by accusations of corruption before he resigned in 2011, putting an end to investigations of the Trinidadian.

Prosecutors expected to announce the case at a news conference at the Brooklyn U.S. attorney's office, which is leading the investigation on Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal said in a separate report.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey and Internal Revenue Service criminal chief Richard Weber were expected to appear in Brooklyn to announce the case, the WSJ said.

The reports offer a fresh blow to the credibility of FIFA, which has suffered repeated accusations of wrongdoing over the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which were awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively.

FIFA appointed an independent investigator to look into the allegations and though a summary of his report found some wrongdoing on the part of the Qatari and Russian bid committees, FIFA's ethics judge concluded it was not enough to question the entire process.

The investigator, former attorney Michael Garcia, subsequently resigned from his role in December after criticising the handling of his report.

Damian Collins, the British MP who founded the reform group New FIFA Now, said the news was hugely significant for FIFA and could have a massive impact on the governing body.

"The chickens are finally coming home to roost and this sounds like a hugely significant development for FIFA," he told Reuters by telephone.

"It proves that Sepp Blatter's promises over the last few years to look into corruption at FIFA have not materialised and because he has totally failed to do this, it has been left to an outside law enforcement agency to do the job and take action."

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