Fifa, the international federation for association football, has received a major blow after fourteen officials were indicted in Switzerland today on corruption charges. The football giant, never far from controversy, has received a hitherto unforeseen shock to its higher structure after the US charges, which come alongside a criminal case launched into the bids for the 2018 and 2020 world cups, to be held in Russia and Qatar respectively. The presidential elections of the federation, which are due to take place on Friday, will still take place despite the arrests.
Those arrested include the leaders of various national football associations and the presidents of America’s two continental governing bodies Concacaf and Conmebol.
The incumbent president of the Federation, Sepp Blatter, was not among the seven senior functionaries detained by police in Zurich, despite a coloured career and a somewhat unsavoury reputation.
With raids having also taken place at Fifa’s headquarters in Zurich and Miami, it seems likely that further arrests may follow as part of a wider push against corruption in international football’s upper echelons.