Six football officials have been arrested and detained in Switzerland pending extradition at the request of US authorities ahead of the Fifa congress in Zurich.
The Swiss Federal Office of Justice said US authorities suspect the officials of receiving or paying bribes totalling millions of dollars.
It said the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York is investigating the six on suspicion of the acceptance of bribes and kickbacks between the early 1990s and now.
Officers swooped on the five star Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich and arrested a number of officials, including FIFA vice-president Jeffrey Webb from the Cayman Islands, it's understood.
Fifa is holding a presidential election in Zurich on Friday with Sepp Blatter widely tipped to stay in the job. It is understood that Blatter is not among those arrested.
The New York Times has reported that charges include wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering, and that the United States Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch is due to hold a news conference later on Wednesday.
A statement from the Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) read: "The six soccer functionaries were arrested today in Zurich by the Zurich Cantonal Police.
“The FOJ’s arrest warrants were issued further to a request by the US authorities.
“The US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York is investigating these individuals on suspicion of the acceptance of bribes and kick-backs between the early 1990s and the present day.
“The bribery suspects – representatives of sports media and sports promotion firms – are alleged to have been involved in schemes to make payments to the soccer functionaries – delegates of Fifa (Federation Internationale de Football Association) and other functionaries of Fifa sub-organisations – totalling more than 100 million US dollars.
Inside the Baur au Lac hotel where a number of Fifa officials have been arrested this morning pic.twitter.com/MbeoR517CL— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) May 27, 2015
“In return, it is believed that they received media, marketing, and sponsorship rights in connection with soccer tournaments in Latin America. According to the US request, these crimes were agreed and prepared in the US, and payments were carried out via US banks.”
As many as 15 officials may be under investigation worldwide, according to sources.