Swiss police have arrested some of the most powerful figures in global soccer, announcing a criminal investigation into the awarding of the next two world cups. As Duarte Garrido reports it's plunged the world's most popular sport into turmoil.
Six high-ranking FIFA officials under arrest for corruption. The suspects - including two vice-presidents of the governing body - indicted in this five star hotel in Zurich, in the early hours of Tuesday. The officials have not been identified by Swiss authorities. But they HAVE confirmed that FIFA president Sepp Blatter is NOT among them. (SOUNDBITE) (German) FIFA'S DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS & PUBLIC AFFAIRS, WALTER DE GREGORIO, SAYING: "FIFA's president as well as the secretary general are not involved in the allegations. FIFA is the victim here in this pending investigation." Shortly after dawn, plain-clothed police raided the Baur au Lac hotel, where FIFA members are staying ahead of this week's presidential election. The men now face extradition to the U.S., where they are accused of accepting bribes, worth more than 100 million dollars. According to a statement from the Swiss Federal Office of Justice, the kickbacks span two decades. It's a fresh blow to Blatter's re-election bid, and the organisation's credibility. It has suffered repeated accusations of wrongdoing, over the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Reuters sports correspondent Matt Gooderick says Blatter may still be immune from the allegations. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS SPORTS CORRESPONDENT MATT GOODERICK, SAYING: "This is not good for FIFA at all. People have been calling for years, months now, for FIFA to be more transparent. Any suggestion that there is just more corruption at any level in FIFA is bad news for football's governing body." Jordan's Prince Ali, who is also campaigning for the top job, has promised to clean up FIFA if elected. He says it's a sad day for football. U.S. Prosecutors to announce the case at a news conference in Brooklyn later.