-- The 14 people indicted in the global crackdown of FIFA corruption covers a dozen nationalities, although authorities allege the crimes and payments were carried out in the U.S. via American banks.
Seven were arrested in Zurich by Swiss authorities at the request of the U.S. Four other individuals and corporate defendants Traffic Sports USA Inc., Traffic Sports International Inc. and Brazilian sports marketing conglomerate the Traffic Group have already pleaded guilty, according to an indictment unsealed today.
Here are the people indicted today:
1. Jeffrey Webb, 50, Cayman Islands:
Current FIFA vice president and executive committee member, Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) president, Caribbean Football Union (CFU) executive committee member and Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) president. He was one of the seven arrested in Switzerland today.
2. Jack Warner, 72, Trinidad and Tobago:
Former FIFA vice president and executive committee member, CONCACAF president, CFU president and Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) special adviser.
Warner posted a video on his Facebook page today, saying that when he was at FIFA he “conducted [himself] with all FIFA sports practices” and implied the timing of the indictment was related to Trinidad and Tobago’s upcoming presidential election.
“I want to tell you that whatever is planned for me negatively shall not succeed,” he said.
3. Aaron Davidson, 44, USA:
Davidson is president of Traffic Sports USA Inc., which owns the Carolina Railhawks, a North American Soccer League franchise based in in Cary, North Carolina. The company also has several sponsorship and media rights deals with CONCACAF.
4. Nicholas Leoz, 86, Paraguay:
Former FIFA executive committee member and president of South American confederation CONMEBOL.
5. Eduardo Li, 56, Costa Rica:
Arrested in Switzerland today, he's the current FIFA executive committee member-elect, CONCACAF executive committee member and president of Costa Rican soccer federation (FEDEFUT).
6. Alejandro Burzaco, 50, Argentina:
Controlling principal of Torneos y Competencias S.A., a sports marketing business based in Argentina and its affiliates.
7. Eugenio Figueredo, 83, USA and Uruguay:
Current FIFA vice president and executive committee member; former CONMEBOL president and Uruguayan soccer federation (AUF) president. He faces a maximum term of incarceration of 10 years for a charge of naturalization fraud and could have his U.S. citizenship revoked, the Justice Department said. He also faces a maximum term of incarceration of five years for each tax charge. He was arrested in Switzerland.
8. Jose Maria Marin, 83, Brazil:
Current member of the FIFA organizing committee for the Olympic football tournaments. Former Brazilian national soccer federation CBF president. He was arrested Switzerland.
9. Julio Rocha, 64, Nicaragua:
Current FIFA development officer. Former Central American Football Union (UNCAF) president and Nicaraguan soccer federation (FENIFUT) president.He was arrested in Switzerland today.
10. Rafael Esquivel, 68, Venezuela:
Current CONMEBOL executive committee member and Venezuelan soccer federation (FVF) president. He was arrested in Switzerland.
11. Costas Takkas, 58, United Kingdom:
Arrested in Switzerland today, he is the current attaché to the CONCACAF president and former CIFA general secretary.
12. Hugo Jinkis, 70, Argentina:
Controlling principal of Full Play Group S.A., a sports marketing business based in Argentina, and its affiliates.
13. Mariano Jinkis, 40, Argentina:
Controlling principal of Full Play Group S.A.
14. José Margulies, 75, Brazil:
Also known as José Lazaro, he's the controlling principal of Valente Corp. and Somerton Ltd. He is the only defendant listed in the broadcasting business, but the Justice Department said he "allegedly served as an intermediary to facilitate illicit payments between sports marketing executives and soccer officials."
In a statement posted on its website, FIFA said it “welcomes actions that can help contribute to rooting out any wrongdoing in football.”
“We are pleased to see that the investigation is being energetically pursued for the good of football and believe that it will help reinforce measures that FIFA has already taken,” the organization said.
In a statement, CONCACAF said it "is deeply concerned by today’s developments, in the arrest of several international football officials including those belonging to our Confederation. The Confederation will continue to cooperate with the authorities to its fullest capacity. At present, CONCACAF is not in a position to comment further on the specific allegations, which have been referred to the appropriate legal counsel through the pertinent channels."
The Justice Department said the charges "are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty."