Swiss deliver first evidence to U.S. in FIFA case

Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:14am EST
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ZURICH (Reuters) - Switzerland's Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) on Wednesday handed over the first batch of evidence to U.S. authorities for its investigation into alleged bribery schemes for soccer marketing rights.

Zurich-based FIFA is mired in a graft scandal with authorities in Switzerland and the United States investigating corruption by various individuals with ties to world soccer's governing body.

Just over seven months since a group of FIFA officials were arrested in Zurich on U.S. warrants, the FOJ said it had now delivered the first round of evidence to authorities in the United States for their investigation.

"Consisting of bank documents, the evidence will be used in criminal proceedings against high-ranking FIFA officials," the FOJ said in a statement.

The FOJ also said it had frozen around $80 million in assets in 13 bank accounts following a U.S. request for legal assistance.

U.S. prosecutors have charged 41 people and entities in a probe of soccer corruption spanning the globe.

Soccer bosses from throughout the Americas are among the defendants in a case that prosecutors said involves $200 million in bribes and kickback schemes tied to marketing of major tournaments and matches. [ID:nL1N13S0BT]

(Reporting by Joshua Franklin; editing by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi and Toby Chopra)

FIFA's logo is seen in front of its headquarters during a meeting of the FIFA executive committee in Zurich, Switzerland September 25, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann