FBI Probes FIFA Corruption, Investigating World Cup Bids and FIFA Presidential Election

FBI Probes FIFA Corruption, Investigating World Cup Bids and FIFA Presidential ElectionThe U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating FIFA. The Telegraph reports the FBI suspects criminal acts were committed during its World Cup bidding process last year and elections for FIFA president in June.

In the last month, FBI investigators conducted interviews with members of England’s failed 2018 World Cup bid as part of an investigation into possible e-mail hacking by “outside organizations.”

“Investigators claim to have ‘really great intelligence’ of malpractice and came to London last month to interview people present in Zurich at the time of the World Cup vote.

“It is understood that the FBI has ‘substantial evidence’ of outside organizations attempting to hack the email accounts of the United States bid for the 2022 tournament, and believe the English bid may have also been affected,” the report says.

The revelations of FBI involvement come on the heels of recent reports that people connected with Russia’s successful 2018 bid tried to spy on the communications of their English and American counterparts. 

Qatar won the rights to host the 2022 World Cup in a vote that was widely-suspected of being riddled with corruption and bribes.  

The “Feds” are also looking into last June’s elections for FIFA president. The investigation centers around former presidential contender Mohammed Bin-Hammam’s attempts to bribe soccer officials from Caribbean nations. Cash payments may have have been moved through the United States without reporting them to customs.

“Bin Hammam has been banned for life by FIFA after being found to have offered $40,000 (£25,000) bribes to Caribbean football officials three weeks before the election,” the report adds. “It is suspected that the currency offered to the officials was transported through US borders, a potential offense if it was undeclared.”

So far no charges have been filed by the U.S. federal government.

Photo via Flickr/theseoduke

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