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sixteen more arrested in fifa scandal

The investigation into corruption and bribery in soccer that in May rocked the sport's multibillion-dollar governing body, FIFA, metastasized Thursday when U.S. officials unsealed a new indictment that alleged an even more extensive network of criminal behavior across dozens of countries and involved some of the most powerful people in soccer.

Sixteen new defendants were identified, with charges including wire fraud, money laundering and racketeering, aimed almost entirely at individuals from Central and South America. Among them were a former president of Honduras, a judge on the Constitutional Court of Guatemala and the current and former presidents of Brazil's federation.

Some defendants, federal officials said, participated in bribes involving broadcasting rights for major matches. Others had obstructed justice by trying to hide their actions after finding out that they were under investigation.

"This case has been nothing short of one of the most complex, worldwide financial investigations ever conducted," said Richard Weber, chief of the IRS's criminal investigation unit.

About 14 hours before the indictment was unsealed, Swiss authorities conducted predawn arrests. Some took place at the same luxury hotel where other FIFA officials were arrested in May, the Baur au Lac in Zurich.

The arrests came just before FIFA's executive committee met to approve reform and transparency measures long resisted by soccer's top leaders but ones that gained traction in the aftermath of the scandal.

et cetera

Autos: NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kyle Busch will have surgery Dec. 17 on the right leg and left foot he broke when he crashed into a concrete wall the day before the season-opening Daytona 500. … Busch teammate Denny Hamlin had surgery this week to repair a knee ligament he tore playing basketball. … French carmaker Renault will return to Formula One as a racing team in its own name next season after agreeing to take over Lotus.

Baseball: The Blue Jays hired longtime Indians executive Ross Atkins as their general manager.

Golf: Paul Casey birdied the final hole at Albany Golf Club for 6-under 66 that gave him a share of the first-round lead with Jimmy Walker and Zach Johnson in the Tiger Woods-hosted Hero World Challenge at Nassau, Bahamas. Defending champion Jordan Spieth made a hole-in-one with a 6-iron on the second hole and was in a large group at 67 that included Bubba Watson and Adam Scott, who lives at Albany.

Horses: Shared Belief, the champion 2-year-old male in an undefeated 2013 season, was euthanized after a bout with colic in Albany, Calif., his majority owner, sports talk host Jim Rome, said on Facebook.

MMA: Former UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey will get a rematch with Holly Holm, who stunned the previously undefeated Rousey last month to claim the title, UFC president Dana White said. No date was mentioned. UFC suspended Rousey for six months for a head injury suffered in the loss.

Times wires

Sports in brief 12/03/15 [Last modified: Thursday, December 3, 2015 9:33pm]
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