Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger say he hopes an inquiry will make ''the rumors disappear'' following the arrest of top global soccer officials in U.S., Swiss FIFA corruption cases. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Arsene Wenger recommended caution following news that Swiss police arrested some of the most powerful figures in global soccer on Wednesday (May 27), announcing a criminal investigation into the awarding of the next two World Cups and plunging the world's most popular sport into turmoil. The Arsenal manager, prepararing for the FA Cup final on Saturday (May 30) against Aston Villa, told reporters at the Arsenal training ground near London that punishment should only come after people are considered guilty. "Look, I prefer that the whole inquiry is finished and done well and that the rumors disappear," the Frenchman said. "There is nothing worse than rumours you know. Or they kill it and they come out and say that there was nothing wrong in it so we can move on or people who have done wrongly are punished and then you want them of course to have a new start," Wenger added. "But let's wait until the conclusions come out but it is for sure that we have to move and not continue to think that the rumours have to killed, that is for sure." In addition to the Swiss criminal probe, nine football officials and five sports media and promotions executives face extradition to the United States on corruption charges involving more than $150 million in bribes, U.S. authorities said. Those arrested did not include Sepp Blatter, the Swiss head of FIFA, but included several just below him in the hierarchy of the wealthiest and most powerful sports body on earth. Of those 14 indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice, seven officials of soccer's governing body FIFA, including FIFA vice president Jeffrey Webb, were arrested in Zurich. Four people and two corporate defendants had already pleaded guilty to various charges, the department said.