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I can’t believe it’s not Blatter

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Six Fifa officials, including vice-president Jeffrey Webb, have been arrested on suspicion of corruption in dawn raids at a Zurich hotel ahead of Friday’s presidential election.

Members of Swiss law enforcement were still present in the hotel at 0800 BST but the main activity and arrests seemed to be over by then.

Li was due to join Fifa’s executive committee on Friday, while Marin, who was led out of a side exit, is a member of Fifa’s club committee. The officers were carrying his black suitcase and some of his possessions in plastic bags.

A high-level meeting of Fifa officials is now under way at their headquarters and a news conference is expected at 1000 BST.

Swiss authorities began their operation to arrest the Fifa officials at the five-star Baur au Lac hotel, pending extradition to the US, early on Wednesday.

The Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) said those held were being investigated “on suspicion of the acceptance of bribes and kick-backs between the early 1990s and the present day”, totalling “more than $100m [£65m at current rates]”.

The alleged crimes were agreed to and prepared in the US via US bank accounts, it added.

According to reports in the US, former high-ranking Fifa official Chuck Blazer became an FBI co-operating witness and was given a wiretap used in a series of meetings in London in the summer of 2012.

Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke briefly visited the hotel on Wednesday morning but declined to comment.

A Fifa spokesperson said: “We have seen the media reports and and are seeking clarity in this matter. We will make no further comment at this stage.”

Blatter is to go head-to-head against Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan in Friday’s presidential election.

Following a meeting with his advisors on the impact of the arrests on the upcoming vote, Prince Ali said: “Today is a sad day for football.”

The New York Times reports  plain-clothed police officers took the room keys from the reception of the Baur au Lac hotel and headed upstairs to the guest rooms.

It said the operation was carried out peacefully.

Editors Note: There is all kinds of news coming out of Zurich today, news that the Swiss authorities are now investigating the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup is also filtering through. With the presidential elections only 2 days away, absolutely no-one saw this coming. It says a lot when the Swiss are helping out the U.S.A. considering it’s meant to be a relative safe haven but as the bribes were paid in U.S. Dollars then they have the jurisdiction to go ahead and start any legal proceedings. It also says a lot about what the British authorities have been doing for the past few years and why they didn’t try any thing. Is this the end game for FIFA, it may not be today but this could certainly be the massive unraveling of the house of cards. Suspects like Jack Warner are in no way going to want to go to prison and if they can dish the dirt on Sepp Blatter for a plea bargain then I think he would sing like a canary, this is how the Mafia was bought down by the U.S. – go for the middle tiered people first and work your way up the system. The news today is nothing short of incredible, this is the only topic in the Football World today and no doubt there will be more and more news to filter of Zurich over the next few days and hours.

Simply remarkable stuff!

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