June 5, 2015 / 6:42 PM / 4 years ago

Swiss authorities say seized documents from sports agency in FIFA probe

Members of the media stand in front of the entrance of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, May 30, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss authorities said on Friday they seized documents from a defunct sports rights marketing agency roughly 50 kilometers east of Zurich on the same day as they seized data and documents at FIFA linked to the allocation of the next two World Cups.

Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney General (OAG) said it undertook a “collection of evidence on cooperative basis” of sports rights agency Kentaro, based in the Swiss town of Wil.

“Kentaro gave the attorney general’s office relevant documents as part of a collection of evidence on a cooperative basis on May 27 for our investigation,” said a spokeswoman for the Berne-based authority which is leading the probe into soccer’s global governing body.

A representative for Kentaro, which is listed in the Swiss commercial registry as having entered liquidation proceedings last year, could not be reached. Numbers listed for the firm in Wil and London were disconnected.

The seizure happened the same day Swiss authorities said they had opened criminal proceedings on suspicion of mismanagement and money laundering over the decisions to stage the 2018 and 2022 FIFA soccer World Cups in Russia and Qatar. That was also the day U.S. prosecutors announced charges against 14 soccer officials and sports business figures in a separate corruption probe.

The news was first reported by on the website of German daily Bild.

Reporting by Katharina Bart; Karolos Grohmann in Berlin contributed reporting; Editing by Peter Graff

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