By Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh, Democracy Now! | Video Interview
ATTORNEY GENERAL LORETTA LYNCH: The 14 defendants charged in the indictment we are unsealing today include high-ranking officials of FIFA, the international organization responsible for regulating and promoting soccer, leaders of regional and other governing bodies under the FIFA umbrella and sports marketing executives who, according to the indictment, paid millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks to obtain lucrative media and marketing rights to international soccer tournaments. The 47-count indictment against these individuals includes charges of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies spanning two decades.
RICHARD WEBER: As the best financial investigators in the world, IRS-CI special agents exposed complex money-laundering schemes, uncovered millions of dollars in untaxed income, and discovered tens of millions of dollars hidden away in offshore accounts in countries like Hong Kong, the Cayman Islands and Switzerland. This really is the World Cup of fraud. And today we are issuing FIFAa red card.
ALAPHIA ZOYAB: If Blatter doesn't go despite giving the World Cup to a country that has slave labor, if Blatter doesn't go despite the fact that his sponsors are starting to wobble, and if Blatter doesn't go despite the fact that half his board has been arrested, it's not just Blatter that needs to be axed, the FIFA Congress itself needs to be questioned.
PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN: [translated] With regard to the arrests that have been made, it looks very strange, to say the least, because the arrests have been made at the request of the American side on charges of corruption. And who were charged? International officials. We can assume that some of them may have violated something. I don't know. But it's clear that the US has nothing to do with that anyway. Those officials are not US citizens. And if some event indeed happened, and it happened not on the United States territory, and the US has nothing to do with that, this is yet another blatant attempt to extend its jurisdiction to other states.