Lawyers to sign up clients damaged by Fifa scandal

It’s too early to say who the plaintiffs will be in a case against Fifa & parties already indicted in NY.

FILE: The Fifa logo is pictured at the Fifa headquarters on 2 June, 2015 in Zurich. Picture: AFP.

PRETORIA - Lawyers in South Africa and the United States are looking to sign up clients who have been damaged in some way by the Fifa scandal.

Joining such a class action would be without financial costs to the parties who have been damaged in some way by the corruption unfolding week by week.

It's too early to say exactly who the plaintiffs will be in case against Fifa and parties already indicted in New York.

There may also be Fifa constituent member organisations that have committed serious wrongdoings, either alone or in conspiracy with others.

The lawyers say clients often have a sense of being harmed in some way before anyone can tell them exactly what their legal remedies are.

It may be for out of pocket expenses or being forced to contribute to bribery slush funds.

They may have been threatened or suffered retaliation for wanting to reveal the facts of wrongdoings.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Webb, one of seven high-ranking officials of soccer's world governing body Fifa who were arrested in Switzerland on corruption charges, pleaded not guilty in US federal court on Saturday.

Extradited to the United States, the former Fifa vice president and president of the Concacaf regional soccer federation appeared at a hearing in Brooklyn, New York, a US lawyer for him declined to comment.

Webb faces US charges of racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering He was released on a $10 million bond co-signed by family members.

The four co-signers present in court, his wife and her parents and grandmother, were advised by the judge of the gravity of their financial undertaking.

The bond was secured by 10 properties, three cars, a case of jewellery and watches belonging to Webb and his wife and financial assets, including his 401k retirement account.

The 50-year-old Cayman Islands national is among nine soccer officials and five marketing executives charged by the US Justice Department for allegedly exploiting the sport for their own gain through bribes of more than $150 million over 24 years.