But why is the US leading the fight against FIFA (whose head office is in Europe)?

The US authorities continue to sweep up in their fight against corruption in FIFA after the 19th individual pleaded guilty to criminal offences.  The offences relate to bribes paid in respect of the South American club tournament the Copa Libertadores as well as the Copa America.  

Although FIFA is based in Switzerland, it is the US authorities who are leading the charge against individuals and corporates concerned in bribery.  The investigation highlights the long arm of the US law, with officials from South American, Central America and the Caribbean indicted. 

The US has come into criticism over the years for their deployment of their extra-territorial jurisdiction, with some accusing the US authorities of sticking their noses into other people's business. 

America has a reputation of being harder on white-collar crime and corruption than other countries.  The US laws permit prosecutors to pursue anyone who has planned or conducted an illegal act within its jurisdiction.  The Department of Justice alleges that in this particular case, these crimes were agreed and prepared in the US, and many of the payments were made via US bank accounts. 

There are limits to the US's powers to prosecute foreigners for alleged offences committed overseas.  Whilst many of the alleged offences in the FIFA investigation relate to bribery, the prosecutors have not charged anyone with bribery.  That is because federal bribery laws in the US only allow prosecutors to charge those concerned in bribing public officials.    Instead they brought charges for racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering.

The authorities in Switzerland are conducting their own investigation into FIFA but it is understood that this is focused on separate issues concerning the Russia and Qatar bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids.  In the UK, the Serious Fraud Office has confirmed it is looking into potential money-laundering offences in the UK related to FIFA corruption.

But the US are certainly leading the charge and, in this case at least, it seems that the majority of people are relieved that after years of scandal and rumour someone has finally taken the reins in the fight against corruption at FIFA.