Lyon: The International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) on Wednesday issued “Red Notices” for six individuals, including two former FIFA top officials, who are wanted by the United States authorities in connection with a corruption scandal that has shaken the powerful world football governing body.
The corruption scandal claimed its first victim on Tuesday when FIFA president Sepp Blatter — elected on Friday to a fifth four-year term — announced he would resign at “an extra-ordinary FIFA Congress meeting” very soon. The surprise announcement came after Blatter had stubbornly refused to step down earlier despite a heightened clamour in this regard.
Those implicated in the scandal under investigation in the US include nine top FIFA officials, including Blatter’s right-hand man, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke. Seven FIFA officials have already been arrested among the 14 indicted by the US Department of Justice on graft charges.
Blatter himself is under investigation by US authorities for financial misconduct.
“At the request of US authorities, Interpol Red Notices — or international wanted persons alerts — have been issued for two former FIFA officials and four corporate executives for charges including racketeering conspiracy and corruption,” an Interpol statement read on Wednesday.
The Red Notices have been issued for former Fifa vice president and Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) president Jack Warner and former South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) president Nicolas Leoz.
The four corporate executives whose names carry an Interpol alert are Alejandro Burzaco, controlling principal of Torneos y Competencias S.A., a sports marketing business based in Argentina; Hugo Jinkis and Mariano Jinkis, controlling principals of Full Play Group S.A., a sports marketing business based in Argentina; and Jose Margulies (also known as Jose Lazaro), controlling principal of Valente Corp. and Somerton Ltd., a Brazil-based broadcasting businesses.
“Red Notices are one of the ways in which Interpol informs its member countries that an arrest warrant has been issued for an individual by a judicial authority and seeks the location and arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition or similar lawful action,” the Interpol statement said.
“The individuals concerned are wanted by national jurisdictions and Interpol’s role is to assist national police forces in identifying or locating those individuals with a view to their arrest and extradition. A Red Notice is not an international arrest warrant, and Interpol cannot compel any member country to arrest the subject of a Red Notice.”