Shortly after Seth Blatter announced his resignation from FIFA on Tuesday, the International Police issued red notices on six persons involved with the FIFA corruption scandal. Switzerland, whose independent investigation into potential “fixing” and other corrupt business influences netted seven arrests last week, has begun searching for these individuals within their borders. The international warrants were issued by the request of United States authorities, according to Sky News Australia.
Brazil’s Jose Margulies, Alejandro Burzaco of Argentina, Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago, Nicolas Leoz of Paraguay and Hugo and Mariano Jinkis, also from Argentina, are the six FIFA individuals identified by the United States Attorney General’s office. Warner is suspected of bribing heads of international soccer tournaments to the tune of $150 million, receiving lucrative marketing deals and media rights in exchange for these bribes. Of the $150 million, $10 million was forwarded to South Africa during the 2010 host election, which South Africa won. Switzerland and International Police authorities continue to probe the 2018 and 2022 FIFA elections won by Russia and Qatar, respectively.
Red notices work differently than America’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database. In an Interpol statement provided to The Guardian, “Interpol member countries are informed when arrest warrants are issued in one jurisdiction so they can be informed, although member countries are under no obligation to arrest the individuals.” If FIFA members are found in any U.S. state, they’re subject to immediate arrest and detention until Federal authorities arrive. FIFA, with Blatter moving aside to allow an amicable overhaul of FIFA rules and regulations, has been cooperating with each country’s requests to this point. Corinne Blatter-Andenmatten, daughter of Seth Blatter, adamantly denied FIFA investigations and corrupting probes weren’t motivating factors in his decision to retire.
CONCACAF, the governing body of North and Central American soccer, conducted an independent investigation of Warner and found him to have misappropriated funds donated by the Football Federation of Australia to FIFA in an open letter from FFA chairman Frank Lowy. CONCACAF requested monies for an ongoing feasibility study into a center for excellence in Trinidad and Tobago; instead of $4 million in funds, the association countered with $500,000, which Warner used nefariously.
FIFA will continue their investigation into Qatar and Russia host elections, work to restore a more sustainable business model, and cooperate with all authorities probing activity within the organization. More information, including pictures of FIFA executives and co-conspirators wanted for various crimes, can be found at Interpol’s website.