FIFA provisionally bans 11 implicated in DOJ investigation
The FIFA ethics committee has provisionally banned 11 individuals from "any football-related activities on a national and international level" after they were indicted in a U.S. Department of Justice corruption investigation.
Hans-Joachim Eckert, the chairman of the ethics committee's adjudicatory chamber, said FIFA felt it had to take immediate action.
"The charges are clearly related to football and are of such a serious nature that it was imperative to take swift and immediate action," Eckert said. "The proceedings will follow their course in line with the FIFA Code of Ethics."
The U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday that it had indicted nine FIFA and five corporate executives stemming from decades of corruption, while Swiss authorities opened separate criminal proceedings into FIFA's bid process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
FIFA banned 11 individuals: Jeffrey Webb, Eduardo Li, Julio Rocha, Costas Takkas, Jack Warner, Eugenio Figueredo, Rafael Esquivel, José Maria Marin, Nicolás Leoz, Chuck Blazer and Daryll Warner.
Webb is the current president of CONCACAF and a current FIFA vice president, while Warner is the former president of CONCACAF. Blazer is a former member of the FIFA executive committee.
According to the indictment, the corruption started in 1991 with various members of FIFA "engaging in various criminal activities, including fraud, bribery and money laundering."
Just hours after several officials were arrested in Zurich, Swiss authorities opened separate criminal proceedings related to the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which were won by Russia and Qatar, respectively.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who was not indicted and is running for a fifth term as FIFA president, said Wednesday that he welcomes U.S. and Swiss investigations into alleged corruption.
- Stanley Kay