Bomb threat made against FIFA Congress ahead of election

Friday May 29th, 2015

An anonymous bomb threat was made against the Zurich venue where FIFA Congress is being held, just hours before the organization's presidential election, police in Switzerland said.

Hallenstadion's concert hall auditorium was cleared, but the building itself was not evacuated, and Zurich police were sent to investigate the threat, which Swiss police said was made by telephone around 11 a.m. local time.

“An anonymous threat against the FIFA Congress was received,” FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke said. "A search was carried out. The premises have been cleared by the authorities.”

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The congress resumed its meeting after lunch.

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The FIFA presidential election was won by incumbent Sepp Blatter, winning a fifth, four-year term amid a corruption scandal rocking the organization.

His opponent, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, withdrew before a second ballot was cast after Blatter failed to win a two-thirds majority on the first ballot.

Blatter was not among the 14 individuals indicted by the United States Department of Justice earlier this week, on charges including racketeering, fraud and money laundering. Swiss authorities opened separate criminal proceedings into FIFA's bid process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

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