The Swiss president of world football’s governing body faces a hearing with FIFA’s Ethics Committee this month, but is now at the center of the FBI’s probe into corruption, the BBC has reported.
Suspended FIFA President Sepp Blatter is the next target of the FBI’s investigation into corruption, according to a report from the BBC’s investigative program Panorama.
The FBI is looking into a 92-million-euro ($100 million) bribe to Blatter, his predecessor Joao Havelange and ex-vice president Ricardo Teixeira by sports marketing company ISL to secure lucrative television and marketing contracts in the 1990s.
Scottish investigative reporter Andrew Jennings has seen a letter from Havelange which claims Blatter had “full knowledge of all activities.” The BBC said that Blatter, 79, declined to comment.
The fresh allegations against Blatter, to be aired in full on Panorama in the United Kingdom on Monday, come days after the US Attorney General Loretta Lynch confirmed the Department of Justice had charged 16 football officials with corruption.
Most of those indicted were high-ranking officials in Central and South America allegedly involved in bribes worth well over $200 million. Presidents of bodies in South and North/Central America were among those arrested.
“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,” Lynch said.
rd/msh (AP, dpa)