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Johansson: "They should be punished"

Foto: Francois Mori
Foto: Olle Sporrong

Several high ranking Fifa officials were arrested early on the Wednesday morning at a luxurious hotel in Switzerland, suspected of bribery and money laundry.

Lennart Johansson, former president of the European football federation Uefa, is not surprised.

– This is just another tragedy with regards to Fifa, Johansson told SportExpressen.

The arrests were made in a hotel in Zürich, where several top figures in the international football federation Fifa were residing.

All of the arrestees will be extradited to the United States and investigated for money laundry, embezzlement and other economic crimes.

Lennart Johansson, former president of the European football federation Uefa, has a history of voicing critical opinions about Fifa president Sepp Blatter.

Johansson has previously accused Blatter of buying votes before the election for the Fifa presidency 1998 and for rigging the Uefa election 2007.

"They should be punished"

When SportExpressen reaches Johansson on Wednesday morning, he has not heard about the arrests.

– If there's crimes that have been committed, then they should be punished. This is the first time I hear about this. But I'm not surprised. This is another tragedy with regards to Fifa, Johansson said.

At the same time Johansson will be pleased if any irregularites get brought up to the surface.

– This is serious business. Everybody wants to know more, what has happened, who is guilty? I'm glad that the bad guys get caught. People who have broken the law.

"Blatter is too cunning"

According to AP, Sepp Blatter are not among the arrested, even though his name has figured in the investigation.

– He'll come through unscathed. He always does. He will see to it that he is protected, Johansson said.

– He's too cunning to put himself in such a situation. I don't think it will happen, that he would suddenly be exposed as a serious criminal.

Blatter will run for re-election on Friday. The scandal comes with very poor timing for the president.

– It's not good. But it can only end one way. Blatter gets re-elected. If he's guilty of this thing, then anything can happen. But that's speculation, Johansson said.

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