ZÜRICH, SWITZERLAND- Let`s call it the World Cup of corruption. On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted 14 top FIFA officials on charges ranging from money laundering to racketeering and bribery. Hey 14's enough to start their own soccer team!
“All of these defendants abused the U.S. financial system and violated U.S. law, and we intend to hold them accountable," said Attorney General, Loretta Lynch.
On Friday, the man at the top, 79-year-old FIFA President Sepp Blatter managed to avoid charges and to no surprise was re-elected as President for a fifth term, promising transparency.
"We will cooperate with all authorities to make sure anyone involved in wrongdoing, from top to bottom, is discovered and punished,” said Blatter.
The 47 count indictment detailed counts of two decades of corruption, including the process of awarding the World Cups Tournament to Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022.
Now corporate sponsors are threatening to pull a red card on the soccer powerhouse.
Coca-Cola said "controversy has tarnished the mission and ideals of the FIFA World Cup."
Visa also laid it on thick, calling on FIFA to fix their corruption issues, saying "should FIFA fail to do so, we have informed them that we will reassess our sponsorship."
And that`s millions of dollars in sponsorships that FIFA would have to sit out on.
For now it looks like this soccer scandal kicked up by U.S. officials is far from over.