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FIFA executive shows raid hotel red card

AAP logoAAP 5/10/2016 Matt Slater

FIFA's new leadership has decided it will no longer use Zurich's Baur au Lac as its hotel of choice.

When the 33 members of world football's most important committee gather next week for their second meeting since dropping the name ExCo and becoming the FIFA Council, those from out of town will stay at Zurich's Park Hyatt and not their usual rooms.

Football's bosses have been using the Baur au Lac since 2004 but the five-star hotel, which is set in its own park with views of Lake Zurich and the Alps, became inadvertently associated with world football's crisis when senior officials were arrested there in two dawn raids.

Last May, FIFA vice-president Jeffrey Webb was among seven executives, including two other FIFA ExCo members, Eugenio Figueredo from Uruguay and Costa Rica's Eduardo Li, who were taken into custody by Swiss plain-clothes police acting on behalf of the United States Department of Justice.

Webb was later extradited to the United States and pleaded guilty to racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies. Figueredo was extradited to Uruguay and Li to the United States.

And then in December, two more FIFA vice-presidents were arrested in the same fashion.

The enduring image of the FIFA corruption saga, and arguably former president Sepp Blatter's entire era, was the sight of Baur au Lac staff holding up bed linen in an attempt to shield their guests' embarrassment as they were put into police cars.

Rooms at the Park Hyatt, a modern five-star hotel, are typically PS500 ($A837) a night, whereas the Baur au Lac's would cost PS700 ($A1,172) next week.

Press Association Sport understands that new FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura is keen to press on with the cost-cutting, and council members will be told of her plans for further cuts during the two-day meeting, which starts on Thursday, October 13.

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