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FIFA chief under FBI investigation amid corruption scandal — media

June 03, 2015, 3:13 UTC+3 NEW YORK
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has refused to comment as Blatter "has not been publicly identified as a target of the investigation"
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© AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano

NEW YORK, June 3. /TASS/. The president of the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA), Sepp Blatter, is being investigated by the FBI and US prosecutors as part of the corruption case in the organization, ABC News has reported citing sources familiar with the situation.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has refused to comment as Blatter "has not been publicly identified as a target of the investigation," according to the report.

"Now that people are going to want to save themselves, there’s probably a race to see who will flip on [Blatter] first," ABC News quoted one source as saying. "We may not be able to collapse the whole organization but maybe you don’t need to," a source said.

Blatter, 79, who was re-elected last week for a fifth term, said on Tuesday he would announce his resignation at an extraordinary elective Congress of the organization that is due to be held between December 2015 and March 2016.

An unprecedented corruption scandal flared up in FIFA on May 27 as seven of the organization’s high-ranking officials were arrested in Switzerland on bribery, money laundering and corruption charges. The scandal involves two separate criminal proceedings.

Firstly, the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York is conducting a criminal investigation into the awarding of media, marketing and sponsorship rights for soccer tournaments in the United States and Latin America. Secondly, the Swiss Office of the Attorney General is conducting a criminal investigation into the selection of Russia as the host country for the 2018 World Cup and Qatar as the host country for 2022.

The arrests of the seven FIFA top officials were made by the Swiss police at the request from the US authorities and they are now facing extradition to the United States.

The US Department of Justice said in its statement last week that a total of 14 people (nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives) were indicted for racketeering conspiracy and corruption.

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