Attorney General Loretta Lynch: FIFA corruption probe is 'ongoing'
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch refused to comment on whether FIFA president Sepp Blatter is under investigation, after the Justice Department arrested and indicted 14 individuals Wednesday on corruption charges.
Earlier Wednesday, FIFA denied that Blatter is involved in the corruption scandal.
"He is not one of the ones arrested. He is not involved at all," FIFA spokesman Walter de Gregorio told the Associated Press. "We are trying to find out more from the police."
Lynch said during a Wednesday press conference that the investigation into widespread corruption in soccer is ongoing, as she and three other authorities discussed in detail how $150 million in bribes and kickbacks were taken in an effort to score media and marketing rights to international soccer tournaments, including the 2010 World Cup, which was awarded to South Africa.
Fourteen people were charged according a 47-count indictment unsealed in a federal court in New York on Wednesday.
Among those indicted were current CONCACAF president and FIFA Vice President Jeffrey Webb, former CONCACAF president Jack Warner, and former President of the Uruguayan Football Association and former Vice President of CONMEBOL, Eugenio Figueredo. Warner denied any involvement in the corruption scheme.
FIFA said it doesn't plan to re-vote for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. FIFA also said its presidential election will go on as scheduled on Friday, with Blatter running against Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan. The 79-year-old Blatter is expected to win a fifth term.
Four individuals and two corporate defendants have already pleaded guilty to charges. The Justice Department said that the defendants are charged with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies in a two-decade scheme to make themselves rich "through the corruption of international soccer."
Federal prosecutors in Switzerland opened separate criminal proceedings relating to the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which were won by Russia and Qatar, respectively.
- Scooby Axson