The United States government's investigation into FIFA found $110 million in bribes related to the planning of the 2016 Copa America, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said at a press conference Wednesday.
The 2016 event marks the tournament's 100th anniversary and will be played in the United States for the first time.
U.S. and Swiss authorities arrested 14 FIFA officials and associates Wednesday morning in Zurich on charges of corruption. The defendants are charged with "racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies, among other offenses, in connection with the defendants’ participation in a 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through the corruption of international soccer," the Department of Justice said.
Several current and former officials of North and Central America's soccer federation, CONCACAF, have been implicated in the investigation. The FBI raided CONCACAF's headquarters in Miami on Wednesday.
Earlier this month, Sports Business Daily's John Ourand reported that Fox was close to being awarded the English-language broadcast rights to the 2016 Copa America. Fox had previously been granted the rights to broadcast the World Cup through 2026 without a bidding process. FIFA maintains it did nothing wrong by not opening the opportunity to bid on TV rights after 2022 to competing networks.
- Dan Gartland