FIFA tremors rattle Women's World Cup

Wed May 27, 2015 5:42pm EDT
 
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By Steve Keating

(Reuters) - Women's World Cup officials and sponsors expressed concern over the corruption scandal swirling around world soccer's governing body on Wednesday while trying to keep the focus on the global showcase that kicks off in 10 days across Canada.

Tremors from the arrest in Switzerland of seven of FIFA's most powerful figures on corruption charges reached across the Atlantic, rattling the build-up to the World Cup, but did not shake confidence in the Canadian Soccer Association's ability to stage a successful tournament that begins on June 6 in Edmonton.

"We are extremely disappointed by today's developments and welcome and support all efforts to eliminate this type of behavior in the sport," the CSA said in a statement.

"As the host nation for the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015, the Canadian Soccer Association is confident that the current situation will not impact the competition.

"We are positive that the 30 days of competition will bring exciting soccer to all fans in Canada and around the world."

U.S. authorities said nine soccer officials and five sports media and promotions executives faced corruption charges involving more than $150 million in bribes.

In pursuit of the U.S. case, Swiss police arrested seven FIFA officials who are now awaiting extradition to the United States.

Separate from the U.S. investigation, Swiss prosecutors said they had opened their own criminal proceedings against unidentified people on suspicion of mismanagement and money laundering related to the awarding of rights to host the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2022 event in Qatar.   Continued...

 
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch points during a news conference at the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Eastern District of New York in the Brooklyn borough of New York May 27, 2015. U.S. authorities said nine soccer officials and five sports media and promotions executives faced corruption charges involving more than $150 million in bribes. In pursuit of the U.S. case, Swiss police arrested seven FIFA officials who are now awaiting extradition to the United States.
REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton