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Two more top FIFA officials arrested

By Agence France-Presse in Zurich (China Daily) Updated: 2015-12-04 09:57

Two more top FIFA officials arrested

Journalists gather in front of FIFA's headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, on Wednesday.[Photo/Agencies]

Swiss police arrested two more top soccer officials in a dawn raid on Thursday on suspicion that they accepted millions of dollars in bribes.

The arrests marked a dramatic widening of the FIFA corruption scandal.

The two officials detained in Zurich are FIFA vice-presidents Juan Angel Napout of Paraguay and Alfredo Hawit of Honduras, said a senior official at the global organization, who declined to be named.

Napout is president of the South American Football Confederation, while Hawit is president of the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football.

The Swiss government announced earlier that two unnamed FIFA officials had been detained on suspicion of taking millions of dollars in bribes.

"The high-ranking FIFA officials are alleged to have taken the money in return for selling marketing rights in connection with football tournaments in Latin America, as well as World Cup qualifying matches," a Swiss Justice Ministry statement said. It did not name the pair.

The announcement came after The New York Times reported the latest arrests, as FIFA's leadership gathered in Zurich for talks on a reform package aimed at repairing world soccer's tainted global image.

The newspaper said Swiss police entered the five-star Baur au Lac hotel in central Zurich at about 6 am on Thursday.

The arrests came after a similar raid at the same hotel in May sparked the unprecedented scandal that has shaken the sport's world body to its core. The scandal has seen FIFA's longtime President Sepp Blatter suspended and placed under criminal investigation in Switzerland, while Michel Platini, once seen as his likely successor, is also suspended and facing a life ban from soccer.

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