Several FIFA officials, including vice-president Jeffrey Webb, have been arrested on suspicion of corruption in raids at a Zurich hotel.

The arrests come as members of world football’s governing body were gathering ahead of Friday’s presidential election.

Those arrested suspected of having received millions of US dollars in bribes.

Swiss authorities have also begun criminal proceedings into the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter, seeking a fifth term in charge of the organisation when he stands for re-election on Friday, is not among those arrested.

Nine current and former FIFA officials were named on the indictment, which New York attorney General Loretta Lynch says “alleges corruption that is rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted both abroad and here in the United States”.

 Jeffrey Webb

They are:
Jeffrey Webb: current FIFA vice-president
Jack Warner: former FIFA vice-president
Eduardo Li: Costa Rican federation president
Julio Rocha: current FIFA development officer
Costas Takkas: current attaché to the Concacaf president.
Eugenio Figueredo: current FIFA vice-president
Rafael Esquivel: current Conmebol executive committee member
José Maria Marin: current member of the FIFA organising committee for the Olympic football tournaments
Nicolás Leoz: former FIFA executive committee member and Conmebol president.

Separate probe into Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022

While the raids were taking place, the Swiss authorities revealed that they would be launching a separate criminal investigation into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Authorities will question 10 executive committee members who took part in the votes in December 2010.

Swiss authorities began their operation to arrest the FIFA officials at the exclusive Baur au Lac hotel, pending their extradition to the US.

The Swiss Federal Office of Justice said those held were being investigated “on suspicion of the acceptance of bribes and kick-backs between the early 1990s and the present day”, totalling “more than $100m” [£65m].

According to reports in the US, former FIFA official Chuck Blazer became an FBI co-operating witness and was given a wiretap used in a series of meetings in London in the summer of 2012.

A FIFA spokesperson said: “We have seen the media reports and and are seeking clarity in this matter. We will make no further comment at this stage.”

Despite today’s events there are no plans to cancel Friday’s presidential election between Blatter and Prince Ali.

FIFA spokesman, Walter de Gregorio, insisted at the news conference that Mr. Blatter was not implicated in any alleged wrongdoing and that the election would not be disrupted.

Following a meeting with his advisors on the impact of the arrests on the upcoming vote, Prince Ali said: “Today is a sad day for football.”