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Swiss FIFA Arrests Shake Up Global Soccer47:32
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Top officials at soccer’s international governing body FIFA arrested in Switzerland today on US charges of racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering and bribery. We’ll dig in.

Two persons are reflected in the FIFA logo at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, Wednesday, May 27, 2015. Swiss prosecutors opened criminal proceedings into FIFA's awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, only hours after seven soccer officials were arrested Wednesday pending extradition to the U.S. in a separate probe of "rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted" corruption. (AP)
Two persons are reflected in the FIFA logo at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, Wednesday, May 27, 2015. Swiss prosecutors opened criminal proceedings into FIFA's awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, only hours after seven soccer officials were arrested Wednesday pending extradition to the U.S. in a separate probe of "rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted" corruption. (AP)

Nobody who pays attention thought the world of international soccer was squeaky clean. Bribes and kickbacks have been the stories that have swirled for years. But even so, the dramatic arrests in Switzerland last night of top officials of FIFA, soccer’s governing body, were startling. Big figures hustled out of a five-star hotel, indicted by the USA. Forty-seven counts. Racketeering, bribery, money laundering, fraud. A $150 million scandal alleged. And criminal proceedings opened on the World Cup hostings awarded to Russia and Qatar. This hour On Point: corruption and soccer.
-- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Tariq Panja, sports reporter who covers FIFA for Bloomberg News. (@tariqpanja)

Aruna Viswanatha, enforcement reporter for The Wall Street Journal. (@aviswanatha)

Paul Kennedy, editor in chief and general manager of Soccer America. (@pkedit)

Andrew Lewellen, contributing soccer writer to ESPN: The Magazine and Grantland. (@andrewhlewellen)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal: FIFA Rocked as U.S. Charges 14 in Corruption Investigation — "U.S. authorities on Wednesday charged nine soccer officials and five others on broad corruption charges accusing them of a 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through FIFA, the sport’s top governing body. Seven of those charged were arrested earlier Wednesday at an upmarket hotel in Zurich, Switzerland, where FIFA was also hit by a separate criminal probe related to the allocation of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups."

Bloomberg Business: Former Westchester Soccer Dad at Core of Sprawling FIFA Scandal — "In all, Blazer received more than $20.6 million from CONCACAF from 1996 through 2011, according to the report. He and his employees also charged more than $26 million in confederation expenses on his personal American Express card, from 2004 to 2011, the report found. The confederation would then cover the balance."

ESPN: FIFA presidential election to go ahead, no 2018 and 2022 World Cup revotes — "The FIFA presidential election will go ahead as planned on Friday, while the governing body has confirmed there will be no revotes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. On Wednesday, Swiss authorities arrested several top FIFA officials with plans to extradite them to the United States, where they will face federal corruption charges."

This program aired on May 27, 2015.

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