Report: Feds targeting Sepp Blatter in corruption investigation
FIFA president Sepp Blatter is the target of a federal corruption probe, according to The New York Times.
Earlier, ABC News reported that the FBI and U.S. prosecutors were investigating the 79-year-old Swiss president of FIFA.
On Tuesday, Blatter announced that he would be resigning from his position amid a corruption scandal engulfing FIFA. Blatter called for an "extraordinary congress" to elect a new president either late this year or early next year.
Despite the scandal, in which a number of soccer officials and executives were indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on corruption charges, Blatter was comfortably reelected for a fifth term as FIFA president last week. But on Monday, The New York Times reported that Blatter's top lieutenant Jerome Valcke had been implicated in a $10 million transfer to former CONCACAF president Jack Warner. The transfer was allegedly related to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Blatter was not among those indicted by the Department of Justice, but ABC News reported that investigators were hoping one of the indicted individuals would flip on the FIFA president.
“Now that people are going to want to save themselves, there’s probably a race to see who will flip on [Blatter] first,” one source said, explaining how the feds typically try to get people to inform on their superiors.
“We may not be able to collapse the whole organization but maybe you don’t need to,” one of the sources said.
FIFA compliance chief Domenico Scala said Tuesday that the new election would likely take place between December 2015 and March 2016.
- Stanley Kay