Then FIFA President Sepp Blatter (L) stands in front of then executive member Chuck Blazer during the 61st FIFA congress at the Hallenstadion in Zurich, Switzerland in this June 1, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/Files
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The FBI's investigation of bribery and corruption at FIFA includes scrutiny of how soccer's governing body awarded World Cup hosting rights to Russia and Qatar, a U.S. law enforcement official said.Russia and Qatar have denied wrongdoing in the conduct of their bids for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, which were not the subject of charges announced by U.S. prosecutors a week ago against FIFA officials that stunned world soccer.Among issues the FBI is examining is the stewardship of FIFA by longtime president Sepp Blatter, who unexpectedly announced Tuesday he was resigning shortly before it emerged that he too was under investigation by U.S. law enforcement.On Wednesday, the partially blacked out transcript of the November 2013 guilty plea of Chuck Blazer, a U.S. citizen and FIFA executive committee member from 1997 to 2013, showed he and others in FIFA agreed to accept bribes in bidding for the 1998 and 2010 World Cups and other tournaments.Blazer's lawyer declined to comment Wednesday.Many of the details were previously revealed in charging documents released by prosecutors when they announced indictments for 14 people, including nine FIFA officials.The international police organization Interpol put two former top FIFA officials on its wanted list at the request of U.S. authorities.
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