Venezuelan Football Federation Mired in FIFA Corruption Scandal

The Venezuelan Public Prosecutor’s office has opened up an investigation into the organisation for in the wake of last week’s “FIFA-gate”. 


Caracas, June 3rd 2015 ( – The Football Federation of Venezuela (FVF) is to be investigated for corruption in the wake of the international FIFA scandal which unfolded last week. 

In comments made on his weekly television show on Tuesday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro revealed that the country’s public prosecution would open up a full investigation into its national federation after its chief representative, Rafael Esquivel, was arrested in relation to the international scandal.  

Esquivel is amongst the fourteen current and former FIFA employees to have been indicted on corruption charges by the U.S. Justice Department. He was arrested in Zurich, Switzerland, on May 27th and is accused of money laundering and accepting millions of dollars in bribes.  

“As head of state I totally support a complete investigation of the Venezuelan Football Federation, and let’s take advantage of it to carry out a constituent process (citizen consultation),” said Maduro.

On Tuesday, Venezuela’s public prosecution body revealed that it had moved to freeze all of Esquivel’s bank accounts after receiving a request from the U.S. Department of Justice. His properties in Miami and US accounts were also seized by US authorities.  

On his television show, Maduro went on to blast FIFA as a corporation that relied on a system of “slavery and exploitation” and stated that footballers such as Diego Maradona should be in charge of the institution as opposed to business executives. 

“Diego Armando Maradona has been denouncing FIFA for decades, they’ve threatened him and they’ve laughed at him,” said the president.  

He also suggested that the investigation was a US geo-political manoeuvre designed to undermine Russia and Qatar, which are due to hold the World Cup in 2018 and 2022. 

Venezuelan intelligence services carried out a raid on the federation’s headquarters in Caracas on Wednesday.