FIFA arrests: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger comments in London Colney
- Credit: AP
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has urged people against jumping to conclusions following the dramatic announcement of senior FIFA officials being arrested in Zurich.
The Gunners’ boss was commenting at the club’s training grounds in London Colney today (Wednesday), hours after news had broken about criminal investigations into alleged corruption at football’s world governing body.
Speaking to reporters during a press conference ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final at Wembley Wenger was asked, as someone who is highly respected in football, what his response was to the announcement of arrests in Zurich.
Wenger replied: “Look, you want justice to be done.”
He said that people should be cautious about the news, and not jump to conclusions just because officials had been arrested.
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Asked whether the dawn raids carried out this morning were ‘embarrassing’ for the sport, he replied: “What is embarrassing is you wonder what [the police are] doing there – I don’t know, but we have to wait, I’m not an expert.”
Commenting on whether the FIFA presidential election should go ahead as planned on Friday despite the corruption arrests, he said: “I would prefer the enquiry to be finished, and rumours disappear … so we can move on.
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“Let’s wait for the conclusion, but for sure, we have to move on … the rumours have to be killed.”
In a statement, FIFA said it was fully cooperating with the investigation and welcomed actions “that can help contribute to rooting out any wrongdoing in football.
“We understand that today’s actions by the Swiss Federal Office of Justice on behalf of the US authorities and the Swiss Office of the Attorney General relate to different matters.
“Firstly, the arrest of six [people] this morning in Zurich concerns investigations by the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of the State of New York.
“The second instance follows FIFA’s initiative of presenting the file on the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup bidding process to the Swiss Office of the Attorney General in November 2014.
“Today the Swiss Office of the Attorney General announced that it has opened criminal proceedings ... in relation to the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup.
“We are pleased to see that the investigation is being energetically pursued for the good of football.”