Outgoing Fifa president Sepp Blatter is subject to FBI and US prosecutors’ investigations into federal corruption following a week of scandal that has rocked football, according to reports.
Meanwhile, Interpol has issued international wanted persons alerts, commonly called red notices, for the former Fifa executives Jack Warner and Nicolás Leoz as well as four sports marketing executives. These alerts have been issued for charges including racketeering conspiracy and corruption.
Several media organisations including The New York Times, ABC News in the US and Reuters reported that Blatter is under investigation by US authorities as part of the same operation that led to the arrest of seven Fifa officials at a hotel in Zurich last Wednesday, and the indictment of a total of 14 worldwide. Baltter had,announced his intention to resign from his position on Tuesday.
These reports confirmed that the 79-year-old Blatter was the latest Fifa official to fall under the US authorities’ scrutiny. These reports said that Blatter “is being investigated by US prosecutors and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
Warner, the Trinidad and Tobago national and former Fifa vice-president, and Leoz, the former Fifa executive committee member and Conmebol president, have been highly controversial figures within the world game in recent years.
A statement said: “At the request of US authorities, Interpol Red Notices – or international wanted persons alerts – have been issued for two former Fifa officials and four corporate executives for charges including racketeering conspiracy and corruption.”
Warner was among 14 Fifa officials and other corporate executives charged by the US justice department last week, with American and Swiss authorities making seven arrests following a dawn raid in Zurich on Wednesday. This week a judge in Paraguay reportedly placed Leoz under house arrest for his alleged role in the corruption scandal.
Others named on the wanted person alert include four corporate marketing executives. Alejandro Burzaco is an Argentinian national and a controlling principal of Torneos y Competencias, while Hugo Jinkis and Mariano Jinkis, also both Argentinian, are controlling principals of Full Play Group. The other, José Margulies, is Brazilian.
The Interpol statement continued: “Red notices are one of the ways in which Interpol informs its member countries that an arrest warrant has been issued for an individual by a judicial authority and seeks the location and arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition or similar lawful action.
“The individuals concerned are wanted by national jurisdictions and Interpol’s role is to assist national police forces in identifying or locating those individuals with a view to their arrest and extradition. A red notice is not an international arrest warrant, and Interpol cannot compel any member country to arrest the subject of a red notice.”
(With Agency Inputs)