In an early morning raid, Swiss authorities arrested two FIFA Vice Presidents, Juan Angel Napout and Alfredo Hawit, on Thursday, according to the Vanguard Newspaper.
A statement issued by the Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) indicated that the arrests were carried as part of a US-led investigation into the two Vice Presidents for money laundering, racketeering, and fraud.
Both Mr. Napout and Mr. Hawit are to be extradited to the US to face the accusations against them. However, the two FIFA officials are reportedly fighting the extradition effort.
According to the FOJ, the two men are accused of accepting bribes in return for the sale of marketing rights for football tournaments in Latin America as well as for World Cup qualifying matches.
FIFA agreed to cooperate fully with the US investigation, as well as the investigation led by the Swiss Attorney General. The Swiss government is investigating the sporting body regarding allegations of fraud concerning the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. The news of the arrests broke during FIFA’s Executive Committee, which took place without the presence of Mr. Napot and Mr. Hawit.
FIFA is no stranger to controversy, in June Sepp Blatter, the former FIFA President stepped down following allegations of fraud and corruption.