The United States attorney general, Loretta Lynch, has promised more arrests at Fifa as her investigation into corruption has “now expanded” since executives of the world governing body were held in Zurich in May.
Her Swiss counterpart, Michael Lauber, said his separate investigation into criminal practices in the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup had seized assets, including “apartments in the Swiss Alps”.
The two officials gave a joint press conference at the Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich, the same hotel where several of Fifa’s top executives were arrested in dawn raids almost four months ago.
Lynch said new charges and arrests against “individuals and entities” were anticipated. Asked whether Fifa’s outgoing president Sepp Blatter was wise to be avoiding travel to North America, as his no-show at the Women’s World Cup final in Canada in July was perceived, she said: “I’m not going to comment on individuals and I am not able to give you information about Mr Blatter’s travel plans.”
Lauber said his office was still in the process of going through some 11 terabytes of data seized from Fifa and other sources, and it was impossible to know how long it might take.
On the question raised at the weekend, over Blatter’s signing of a contract for the sale of 2010 and 2014 World Cup TV rights to the disgraced Caribbean football executive Jack Warner for around £400,000, which were then sold on for £11m, Lauber said: “This specific case we received on Sunday and it will be analysed by us to see if this is really valuable or not.”
On that case, Mark Pieth, a Swiss legal expert once hired by Fifa to advise on anti-corruption, said: “Blatter has to defend himself against a form of embezzlement charges. They have prima facie evidence. That means they have to open an investigation.”Reuse content