lead brown fifa accusations_00000421.jpg
lead brown fifa accusations_00000421.jpg
Now playing
02:32
Soccer officials accused of taking bribes, kickbacks
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - JUNE 02: A FIFA logo sits on a sign at the FIFA headquarters on June 2, 2015 in Zurich, Switzerland. Joseph S. Blatter resigned as president of FIFA. The 79-year-old Swiss official, FIFA president for 17 years said a special congress would be called to elect a successor. (Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)
Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - JUNE 02: A FIFA logo sits on a sign at the FIFA headquarters on June 2, 2015 in Zurich, Switzerland. Joseph S. Blatter resigned as president of FIFA. The 79-year-old Swiss official, FIFA president for 17 years said a special congress would be called to elect a successor. (Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:23
Swiss police arrest two FIFA officials
Caption:Member of the media wait next to a logo of the Worlds football governing body, at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, prior to a press conference of FIFA President Sepp Blatter on March 20, 2015, closing a two-day meeting to decide the dates of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. AFP PHOTO / MICHAEL BUHOLZER (Photo credit should read MICHAEL BUHOLZER/AFP/Getty Images)
MICHAEL BUHOLZER/AFP/Getty Images
Caption:Member of the media wait next to a logo of the Worlds football governing body, at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, prior to a press conference of FIFA President Sepp Blatter on March 20, 2015, closing a two-day meeting to decide the dates of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. AFP PHOTO / MICHAEL BUHOLZER (Photo credit should read MICHAEL BUHOLZER/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:40
U.S.: New charges expand FIFA investigation
fifa kofi annan tomkins sot_00002210.jpg
fifa kofi annan tomkins sot_00002210.jpg
Now playing
01:13
Kofi Annan: It will take time to reform FIFA
Michael Hershman Interview QMB_00005413.jpg
Michael Hershman Interview QMB_00005413.jpg
Now playing
02:43
Hershman talks FIFA suspensions
Now playing
04:39
Former FIFA Exec: 'High possibility' Blatter involved
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and FIFA President Joseph Blatter attend the 2014 FIFA World Cup final football match between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 13, 2014. AFP PHOTO / PEDRO UGARTE (Photo credit should read PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images)
PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and FIFA President Joseph Blatter attend the 2014 FIFA World Cup final football match between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 13, 2014. AFP PHOTO / PEDRO UGARTE (Photo credit should read PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:37
Top Russian official: We feel no threat to our World Cup
fifa scandal jack warner curnow pkg_00004111.jpg
AFP/Getty Images
fifa scandal jack warner curnow pkg_00004111.jpg
Now playing
02:41
The hunt for FIFA's Jack Warner
Now playing
01:43
What's up with Chuck Blazer?
FIFA President Sepp Blatter holds a press conference at the headquarters of the world's football governing body in Zurich on June 2, 2015.
Valeriano Di Domenico/AFP/Getty Images
FIFA President Sepp Blatter holds a press conference at the headquarters of the world's football governing body in Zurich on June 2, 2015.
Now playing
01:31
Former Blatter adviser: Wouldn't be surprised by bribery
fifa world cup organizer under pressure magnay pkg_00001720.jpg
fifa world cup organizer under pressure magnay pkg_00001720.jpg
Now playing
02:23
2010 World Cup organizer under pressure
French actor Gerard Depardieu (L) and FIFA President Sepp Blatter give a thumbs-up as they arrive for the screening of the film 'United Passions' at the 67th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes.
Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
French actor Gerard Depardieu (L) and FIFA President Sepp Blatter give a thumbs-up as they arrive for the screening of the film 'United Passions' at the 67th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes.
Now playing
02:12
FIFA 'propaganda film' opens amid scandal
exp Anti U.S. Backlash on the Heels of the FIFA Scandal _00002001.jpg
exp Anti U.S. Backlash on the Heels of the FIFA Scandal _00002001.jpg
Now playing
06:09
Is the U.S. facing a backlash for invesitgating FIFA
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - JUNE 02: A FIFA logo sits on a sign at the FIFA headquarters on June 2, 2015 in Zurich, Switzerland. Joseph S. Blatter resigned as president of FIFA. The 79-year-old Swiss official, FIFA president for 17 years said a special congress would be called to elect a successor. (Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)
Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - JUNE 02: A FIFA logo sits on a sign at the FIFA headquarters on June 2, 2015 in Zurich, Switzerland. Joseph S. Blatter resigned as president of FIFA. The 79-year-old Swiss official, FIFA president for 17 years said a special congress would be called to elect a successor. (Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:47
FIFA facing widespread corruption scandal
The FIFA logo is pictured at the FIFA headquarters on June 2, 2015 in Zurich. Blatter on June 2, 2015 resigned as president of FIFA as a mounting corruption scandal engulfed world football's governing body. The 79-year-old Swiss official, FIFA president for 17 years and only reelected on May 29, said a special congress would be called as soon as possible to elect a successor. AFP PHOTO / MICHAEL BUHOLZERMICHAEL BUHOLZER/AFP/Getty Images
AFP/Getty Images
The FIFA logo is pictured at the FIFA headquarters on June 2, 2015 in Zurich. Blatter on June 2, 2015 resigned as president of FIFA as a mounting corruption scandal engulfed world football's governing body. The 79-year-old Swiss official, FIFA president for 17 years and only reelected on May 29, said a special congress would be called as soon as possible to elect a successor. AFP PHOTO / MICHAEL BUHOLZERMICHAEL BUHOLZER/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
04:12
Michelle Akers: FIFA an 'old boys network'
rebuilding fifa reputation burke dnt wbt_00000000.jpg
rebuilding fifa reputation burke dnt wbt_00000000.jpg
Now playing
03:10
Rebuilding FIFA's reputation
Shutterstock
Now playing
02:08
A guide to white collar crime
FIFA President Sepp Blatter pictured at a press conference in October.
AFP/Getty Images
FIFA President Sepp Blatter pictured at a press conference in October.
Now playing
01:04
FIFA's embattled president, Sepp Blatter resigns
Dmitry Azarov/Kommersant Photo via Getty Images
Now playing
01:55
Blatter resignation casts doubt on Russian World Cup
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - JUNE 02: A FIFA logo sits on a sign at the FIFA headquarters on June 2, 2015 in Zurich, Switzerland. Joseph S. Blatter resigned as president of FIFA. The 79-year-old Swiss official, FIFA president for 17 years said a special congress would be called to elect a successor. (Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)
Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - JUNE 02: A FIFA logo sits on a sign at the FIFA headquarters on June 2, 2015 in Zurich, Switzerland. Joseph S. Blatter resigned as president of FIFA. The 79-year-old Swiss official, FIFA president for 17 years said a special congress would be called to elect a successor. (Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:05
How to save the FIFA brand
Getty Images
Now playing
02:33
Blazer: I took bribes for French, S. African World Cups
Now playing
02:58
Prince Ali: If they want me to, I will run for President
RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
03:47
I'm a 'schemer': FIFA's Blatter explains his tactics
Newly re-elected FIFA president Sepp Blatter talks to the media at a press conference in Zurich, Switzerland, on May 30, 2015.
Alessandro Della Bella/Getty Images
Newly re-elected FIFA president Sepp Blatter talks to the media at a press conference in Zurich, Switzerland, on May 30, 2015.
Now playing
03:58
Jerome Champagne: I am 'flabbergasted' by resignation
Now playing
06:32
Toobin: Target of investigations 'is clearly Sepp Blatter'
Getty Images
Now playing
01:41
Chuck Blazer: The man who turned on FIFA (2015)

Story highlights

FIFA president says he welcomes probes, takes credit for setting Swiss probe in motion

FIFA bans 11 individuals from soccer-related activities, including those who are arrested

A 47-count indictment alleges FIFA officials took $150 million-plus in bribes over 24 years

(CNN) —  

Allegations of corruption at FIFA are nothing new to those who follow international soccer. But what was surprising to some Wednesday was the sense that someone was finally doing something about them.

The U.S. Justice Department unsealed a 47-count indictment in federal court in Brooklyn that detailed charges against 14 people accused of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy.

The most serious are the racketeering charges, which allege that the officials turned soccer “into a criminal enterprise,” according to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who spoke to reporters in New York. A conviction could command a sentence of up to 20 years.

“The idea of being shocked about bribery and racketeering at FIFA is like being shocked about jumping into a pool and finding yourself wet,” said Dave Zirin, sports editor at The Nation magazine.

“What makes this particularly different is the fact that this time it looks like the charges have real teeth. I mean, coming from the U.S. Department of Justice, that’s a first. That’s never happened before,” he said.

’We are issuing FIFA a red card’

The complexity of the investigation Lynch described was evident by the federal officials accompanying her, including an assistant U.S. attorney, FBI Director James Comey and Richard Weber, head of the IRS criminal investigation division.

“This really is the World Cup of fraud, and today we are issuing FIFA a red card,” Weber said.

FIFA officials are accused of taking bribes totaling more than $150 million and in return providing “lucrative media and marketing rights” to soccer tournaments as kickbacks over the past 24 years.

Why is the U.S. bringing down the hammer on FIFA?

“The defendants fostered a culture of corruption and greed that created an uneven playing field for the biggest sport in the world,” Comey said in a statement. “Undisclosed and illegal payments, kickbacks and bribes became a way of doing business at FIFA.”

The indictment “is the beginning of our work, not the end” of an effort to rid global soccer of corruption, said Kelly Currie, acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

After the news conference, Chris Eaton, former FIFA head of security, said that U.S. officials have done “something that no other police organization or other region has done so far on FIFA.”

“The fact is there’s been no jurisdiction that was able to take a report, or to take action, or to coordinate a global action such as the U.S. has done today,” he said. “We’re seeing for the first time a very powerful jurisdiction take action against a very powerful, opaque organization.”

Stan Collymore, a former member of England’s national team, said it’s a good thing Washington got involved in FIFA’s business. He wasn’t the only one saying so.

Extradition and next steps

The next step in the FIFA corruption investigation is extradition, whereby federal officials will attempt to bring suspects to the United States to face allegations they arranged bribes at meetings on U.S. soil, employed the U.S. banking system in conveying the bribes and created documents to cloak their activity, Lynch said.

“In short, these individuals, through these organizations, engaged in bribery to decide who would televise games, where the games would be held and who would run the organiza