European intelligence agency Interpol placed six people linked to FIFA on its most-wanted list for charges of racketeering and corruption on Wednesday. The Interpol Red Notice is not an international arrest warrant, but informs member countries that a judicial arrest warrant has been issued by an authority that seeks extradition and prosecution.
The individuals on the list are former FIFA vice president and head of the Concacaf football body Jack Warner; former FIFA executive committee member Nicolás Leoz; Alejandro Burzaco, head of Argentine sports marketing business Torneos y Competencias S.A.; Hugo Jinkis and Mariano Jinkis, heads of Argentine sports marketing firm Full Play Group S.A. and its affiliates; and José Margulies (also known as José Lazaro), head of broadcasting firms Valente Corp. and Somerton Ltd.
The move comes a day after the abrupt resignation of Sepp Blatter, just days after he was re-elected as the international soccer body's president. His resignation came amid news that U.S. authorities had placed him under investigation as part of their wide-ranging anti-corruption sweep.
Blatter has not been directly implicated in the criminal investigations into FIFA underway from Washington and Switzerland, which saw 14 FIFA-linked officials arrested last Wednesday on corruption charges.
However, unnamed U.S. law enforcement officials told the New York Times on Tuesday that they were hoping to convince some of the indicted FIFA officials to provide information they could use to build a case against higher ranking officials.
Meanwhile, FIFA’s sponsors voiced their support of Blatter’s resignation on Tuesday.
"We welcome FIFA's commitment to change," Adidas reportedly said in a statement. "Today's news marks a step in the right direction on FIFA's path to establish and follow transparent compliance standards in everything they do."
Coca-Cola said Blatter’s resignation was a positive sign for the embattled international body. "The announcement today is a positive step for the good of sport, football and its fans," the company reportedly said in a statement. "Our expectation remains that FIFA will continue to act with urgency to take concrete actions to fully address all of the issues that have been raised and win back the trust of all who love the sport of football."
McDonald's slammed the reputation that FIFA had built up over the years. "The allegations of corruption and questionable ethics within FIFA have overshadowed the game and taken away from the sport, players and fans," it reportedly said.
Visa welcomed the news and said in a statement: "We are encouraged by the recognition by Fifa that extensive and fundamental reform is needed as reflected by the announcement that President Blatter is resigning.
"This is a significant first step towards rebuilding public trust, but more work lies ahead," it reportedly said.