Fifa crisis: Swiss banks told authorities of "suspicious" activity connected to Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022 World Cup bidding

 
Joe Hall
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Attorney General Michael Lauber: "I don't care about the timetable of Fifa" (Source: Getty)

The heat has intensified on the future Russia and Qatar World Cups after Swiss attorney general Michael Lauber revealed he had evidence of over 50 "suspicious" banking relations connected to Fifa.

Lauber, the head of the Swiss investigation into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, declared he was not afraid if his "complex" probe "has some collateral [damage]" and confirmed he could question Fifa president Sepp Blatter.

Read more: Fifa's sponsors will welcome corruption scrutiny - but only for so long

Swiss banks assisted the investigation by bringing 53 "suspicious" banking relations to the authorities' attention, Lauber said, to add to the 104 already known to the attorney general.

He added that every relation represents "several bank accounts" as he shed light on the "substantial" investigation for the first time.

The Swiss investigation into possible corruption over Fifa's World Cup bidding process - running separately to the FBI's probe - will pour over over the nine tera-bytes of data it has seized from Fifa's offices.

Lauber said:

We are faced with a complex investigation with many international implications. The prosecution is ongoing and will take time. It would not be professional to communicate at this moment a detailed time table.

The world of football needs to be patient. By its nature, this investigation will take more than the legendary 90 minutes.

Julius Baer, Switzerland's third-largest wealth manager, told Bloomberg today it had opened its own internal inquiry into Fifa payments.

Both Russia and Qatar are adamant that they did nothing wrong during the bidding process for the World Cup.

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