FIFA Scandal

Wanted for Crimes Against Soccer

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They could be watching games from jail in the future.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The future of the World Cup tournaments and FIFA itself is uncertain as the United States launches an aggressive, wide-ranging attack on corruption in soccer.

  • Facts


    • Interpol, the international policing organization issued red notices, or international wanted persons alert, for six soccer officials.
    • FIFA President Sepp Blatter has said he will resign once a new president is elected.
    • Mr. Blatter wants to change FIFA before he leaves, cutting the executive committee down from its current size of 25 members.
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FIFA, the multi-tentacled murky organization that has held the world of soccer in a firm grip, had its head cut off this week.

Sepp Blatter, its 79-year-old president who appeared invincible, resigned late Tuesday just four days after declaring only he could lead FIFA.

On Wednesday, Interpol, the international policing organization, issued red notices, or international wanted persons alert, for six soccer officials. Two of them are former FIFA executive committee members: Jack Warner, one time head of the Americas confederation; and Nicolás Leoz, the former head of Conmebol, the South American confederation. The four other executives have links to Argentina and Brazil.

The red notices are Interpol’s way of informing countries that an arrest warrant has been issued in one of its member countries, and that it is seeking to locate and arrest the people named.

The notices also signal continued pressure by U.S. authorities on FIFA and Mr. Blatter.

Until now, Mr. Blatter has shown an amazing ability to cling to power, but he met his match in Loretta Lynch, the newly appointed attorney general who decided to make soccer corruption her first big target.

In a hastily convened press conference, a few hours after the New York Times reported that his closest lieutenant, Jerome Valcke, had signed off a $10 million, or €9.07 million, payment at the heart of the U.S. investigation into corruption, Mr. Blatter resigned.

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