Brazil President Dilma Rousseff said Wednesday her country was ready to collaborate with Swiss and US authorities over their probe into corruption at football’s governing body FIFA.
Seven FIFA executives were arrested by Zurich police after a raid at a luxury hotel. The charges include alleged fraud, racketeering and money laundering over 24 years on Wednesday.
The detained executives, include Vice Presidents Jeffrey Webb and Eugenio Figueredo.
Among those arrested on Wednesday was Jose Maria Marin, former president of the Brazilian football federation (CBF). He headed CBF from March 2012 to April this year.
“I believe that any investigation into this matter is very important,” Rousseff told reporters during an official visit to Mexico.
“It will allow for greater professionalism in football. I don’t see how it can be of detriment to football in Brazil. It will only be of benefit.”
Rousseff said she was not aware of any request to assist authorities in their investigations so far.
“We have an agreement with the US attorney’s office and the department of justice to collaborate systematically when necessary,” she added.
Those detained did not include Sepp Blatter, who is favorite to be reelected for a fifth term as FIFA president on Friday.
The US has sought the extradition of the seven detained officials.
Swiss authorities have launched a separate probe into the decision to award Russia and Qatar respective World Cup hosting rights in 2018 and 2022.
Argentina great Diego Maradona, who has had a long-running feud with FIFA, praised the action of US and Swiss authorities.
“They called me mad, but thankfully today the truth is out and I am enjoying it,” Maradona told Argentine radio station La Red.
“They hate football. They hate transparency. Enough shady dealings. Enough lying to the people.”
Former Brazil striker Romario, now a federal senator, also applauded Wednesday’s arrests.
“The imprisonment of Jose Maria Marin is the start of a great future for our football,” Romario said in a televised statement.
“We hope that things change and that we can finally put people who act for the good of football in charge of its institutions,” he added.