US & Canada

Fifa scandal: Swiss prosecutors hand bank documents to US

The FIFA logo is seen outside the FIFA headquarters in Zurich Image copyright Reuters
Image caption US authorities have charged 39 football officials and sports business executives in the scandal

Swiss justice officials say they have handed to US investigators documents relating to bank accounts allegedly used in the Fifa corruption scandal.

The Federal Justice Office (FOJ) said the accounts were allegedly used for bribes connected with the granting of marketing rights to tournaments in Latin America and the US.

In addition, the FOJ said it had frozen some $80m (£54m) in 13 bank accounts.

The action was taken in response to US requests for legal assistance, it said.

"The US authorities can apply to have these assets handed over if they have a legally valid and enforceable seizure ruling from a US court," the FOJ said.

The statement provided no details on who the bank accounts belonged to.

World football's governing body has been in turmoil for several months, following numerous allegations of corruption.

A number of top Fifa officials were arrested at a hotel in Zurich, Switzerland, in May.

Some 14 people were indicted on corruption charges at the end of that month. Another 16 people were charged by the US Department of Justice on 3 December.

And US authorities have in all charged 39 football officials and sports business executives over more than £134m ($200m) in alleged bribes for football television and marketing deals.

Swiss prosecutors are also investigating Fifa's management as well as the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar.

And earlier this month, Fifa president Sepp Blatter and Uefa boss Michel Platini were suspended for eight years from all football-related activities following an ethics investigation.

They were found guilty of breaches surrounding a £1.3m ($2m) payment made to Mr Platini in 2011.

The Fifa ethics committee found the pair had demonstrated an "abusive execution" of their positions.

Both deny any wrongdoing.

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