Russia says FIFA investigation is 'illegal extraterritorial use of U.S. law'
Russia's foreign ministry denounced the United States Department of Justice's investigation into FIFA corruption in a statement released Wednesday.
Swiss authorities, acting at the behest of the United States, arrested seven top FIFA officials in Zurich Wednesday morning. In total, 14 men were charged with various corruption-related crimes in federal court in Brooklyn. Nine of the defendants are FIFA officials and the other five work for FIFA marketing or broadcast partners.
The defendants are allowed to be tried in U.S. court because American law permits the government to bring charges against foreign nationals if there is "the slightest connection to the United States, like the use of an American bank or Internet service provider," according to The New York Times.
Here is Russia's full statement, as translated by The Guardian:
“Without going into the details of the accusations ... this is clearly another case of illegal extraterritorial use of US law,” said a statement on the website of the Russian foreign ministry.
“We hope that this will not in any way be used to cast a shadow on the international football organisation as a whole and its decisions.
“Once again we are calling on Washington to stop attempts to make justice far beyond its borders using its legal norms and to follow the generally accepted international legal procedures.”
None of those charged are Russian citizens but the Swiss are investigating FIFA's decision to award the 2018 World Cup to Russia. ''We're prepared to show everything," Russian Sports Minister Vitalty Mutko told the Associated Press. "We've always acted within the law. We've got nothing to hide."
- Dan Gartland