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Interpol issues ‘Red Notice’ for six people with ties to FIFA probe

By Tajuddin
In Uncategorized
Jun 3rd, 2015
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In this Thursday, June 2, 2011 file photo, suspended FIFA executive Jack Warner gestures during a news conference held shortly after his arrival at the airport in Port-of-Spain, in his native Trinidad and Tobago. Warner was one of the 14 people indicted Wednesday May 27, 2015 in the U.S. on corruption charges. AP Photo

In this Thursday, June 2, 2011 file photo, suspended FIFA executive Jack Warner gestures during a news conference held shortly after his arrival at the airport in Port-of-Spain, in his native Trinidad and Tobago. Warner was one of the 14 people indicted Wednesday May 27, 2015 in the U.S. on corruption charges. AP Photo

Lyon, France ( Agencies + DIPLOMAT.SO) – A day after announcing his decision to resign, Sepp Blatter was back at work at FIFA headquarters on Wednesday as the worst corruption crisis in the governing body’s 111-year history continued to unfold.

Interpol added six men with ties to FIFA to its most wanted list, while South African officials denied they made a $10 million bribe to secure the 2010 World Cup.

Blatter spoke to FIFA staff for about 10 minutes on Wednesday morning, returning to the same auditorium where he delivered his resignation speech a day earlier. Staff described him as being emotional, and said he received a standing ovation.

Elsewhere, Interpol got involved. The international police force, based in Lyon, France, issued an alert for two former FIFA officials and four executives on charges including racketeering and corruption.

Two of the men, former FIFA vice president Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago and former executive committee member Nicolas Leoz of Paraguay, have been arrested in their home countries. Warner has since been released and Leoz is under house arrest. The Interpol “red notice” means they risk arrest anywhere they travel.

Warner, a former president of North America’s soccer confederation, left FIFA in 2011 to avoid being implicated in another bribery case. Earlier this week, it was revealed that $10 million transferred by FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke was paid into accounts controlled by Warner.

Others listed were Argentinians Alejandro Burzaco; Hugo Jinkis and his son Mariano, who together are accused of paying more than $100 million in bribes for media and commercial rights to soccer tournaments; and Jose Margulies, a Brazilian broadcast executive.

The notices mean the six risk arrest anywhere they travel.

Warner and Leoz were among 14 people indicted in the U.S. as part of the federal investigation.

In South Africa, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula said the government wanted to “categorically deny” that the country paid any bribes to win the right to host the 2010 tournament.

Mbalula characterized the $10 million as an “above-board payment” to help soccer development in the Caribbean region.

The money, which went into a fund controlled by Warner, is part of the U.S. investigation into soccer corruption. That probe led to the arrest of seven soccer officials in Zurich last week, kicking off the FIFA scandal and eventually leading to Blatter’s decision to step down.

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