Sepp Blatter
Sepp Blatter is standing for re-election as head of Fifa
Sepp Blatter is standing for re-election as head of Fifa

The Fifa presidential election will take place on Friday as planned despite the arrest of seven Fifa officials on charges they received millions of US dollars in bribes.

Among those arrested is Fifa vice-president Jeffrey Webb.

A separate criminal investigation into how the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were allocated has also begun.

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But Fifa has already ruled out a revote, insisting Russia and Qatar will remain the respective hosts.

Sepp Blatter faces Prince Ali bin al-Hussein in Friday’s election as he seeks a fifth term as Fifa president.

Prince Ali described Wednesday’s developments as “a sad day for football” but declined to comment further.

The seven Fifa officials were arrested after the US Department of Justice issued a 47-count indictment charging 14 defendants with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies in a 24-year scheme.

“The indictment alleges corruption that is rampant, systemic and deep-rooted,” said New York attorney general Loretta Lynch.

“It spans at least two generations of soccer officials who, as alleged, have abused their positions of trust to acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks.”

The charges allege:

Nine current or former Fifa officials, including Webb and former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner, charged with corruption

Four individual and two corporate defendants, including former Concacaf general secretary Chuck Blazer and Warner’s sons Daryan and Daryll, plead guilty

Alleged scheme “fostered a culture of corruption and greed that created uneven playing field”

“Undisclosed and illegal payments, kickbacks and bribes became a way of doing business at Fifa”

Majority of scheme involved corruption over media and marketing rights to matches and tournaments

Those arrested in a dawn raid at the prestigious Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich were Webb, Eduardo Li, Julio Rocha, Costas Takkas, Eugenio Figueredo, Rafael Esquivel and Jose Maria Marin.

Sad Day for Football

Jordan's Prince Ali bin Al Hussein standing against Blatter
Jordan’s Prince Ali bin Al Hussein standing against Blatter

Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, the man challenging Sepp Blatter for the most powerful job in world soccer, said he was saddened by the latest corruption scandal involving FIFA.

“Today is a sad day for football,” Prince

Ali said.

“Clearly this is a developing story, the details of which are still emerging,” the Jordanian said.

“It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”