ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss police arrested some of the most powerful figures in global soccer on Wednesday, announcing a criminal investigation into the awarding of the next two world cups and plunging the world's most popular sport into turmoil.
In addition to the Swiss criminal probe, at least six soccer officials and a number of sports media and promotions executives would face extradition to the United States to face corruption charges involving more than $100 million in bribes.
Those arrested did not include Sepp Blatter, the Swiss head of soccer's multi-billion dollar governing body FIFA, but included several of those just below him in the hierarchy of the wealthiest and most powerful sports body on earth.
The arrests by plain-clothes police were made at dawn at a plush Zurich hotel where FIFA officials are staying ahead of a vote this week where they have been expected to easily anoint Blatter for a fifth term in office.
Swiss prosecutors said they had opened criminal proceedings against unidentified individuals on suspicion of mismanagement and money laundering related to the awarding of rights to host the 2018 World Cup in Qatar and the 2022 World Cup in Russia.
Data and documents were seized from computers at FIFA's Zurich headquarters. A spokeswoman for FIFA declined to comment.
The Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) did not immediately identify which officials were arrested pending extradition to the United States, but media reports said they included Jeffrey Webb and Eugenio Figueredo, both FIFA vice-presidents.
Хуйлосранскому мундиалю пиздец, уже наверняка. Теперешней ФиФе, как оказалось, тоже.