Jump to content
Your browser is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this websites. Learn how to update your browser[Close]

Baur au Lac

FIFA shows red card to hotel where officials were arrested

By swissinfo.ch and agencies

Those were the days: the Baur au Lac in Zurich will no longer host FIFA meetings (Keystone)

Those were the days: the Baur au Lac in Zurich will no longer host FIFA meetings


The doormen at Zurich’s Baur au Lac hotel can put away their white sheets. There will be no FIFA executives to shield while being dragged out of the hotel into police cars again.

World football’s governing body is checking out of the super-luxurious, lake-side hotel that became synonymous with corruption last year when Swiss police launched dawn raids on previously untouchable leaders.

By moving its ruling-council members from the 172-year-old Baur au Lac to the more modest five-star Hyatt in Zurich, FIFA will be saving money during next week’s meetings.

FIFA provided no details of the rooms where council members will be staying, but the cheapest double room for October 13 at the Baur au Lac is CHF870 ($890) which can be booked at the Hyatt for CHF527, according to the Associated Press.

The decision to switch hotels was made by new FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura.

“We’re on business so a good solid business hotel I think is more appropriate,” said FIFA vice-president Victor Montagliani, who is also head of the CONCACAF regional organisation (North, Central America and the Caribbean).

“It’s not just only cost-cutting. As we have done at CONCACAF, it’s about sending a message we are here to work and I think those are some changes that have to happen.”

Corruption probe

Moving hotels ends a troubled association with the Baur au Lac, which became world renowned – for the wrong reasons – when several football officials were arrested in their bedrooms at dawn on May 27, 2015.

Swiss police were executing arrest warrants on behalf of US authorities, which have charged more than 40 people in a football corruption investigation.

In video captured by the Associated Press, then-Costa Rican Football Federation president Eduardo Li was seen being escorted into a police car last year as hotel porters held up white sheets, unsuccessfully trying to shield him.

Despite the unwelcome wake-up call, FIFA didn’t abandon the Baur au Lac after the arrests. And police paid another visit to the hotel when FIFA executives were in Zurich last December to execute a second wave of arrests. 

Sign up for our free newsletter and get the top stories delivered to your inbox.

swissinfo.ch and agencies



All rights reserved. The content of the website by swissinfo.ch is copyrighted. It is intended for private use only. Any other use of the website content beyond the use stipulated above, particularly the distribution, modification, transmission, storage and copying requires prior written consent of swissinfo.ch. Should you be interested in any such use of the website content, please contact us via contact@swissinfo.ch.

As regards the use for private purposes, it is only permitted to use a hyperlink to specific content, and to place it on your own website or a website of third parties. The swissinfo.ch website content may only be embedded in an ad-free environment without any modifications. Specifically applying to all software, folders, data and their content provided for download by the swissinfo.ch website, a basic, non-exclusive and non-transferable license is granted that is restricted to the one-time downloading and saving of said data on private devices. All other rights remain the property of swissinfo.ch. In particular, any sale or commercial use of these data is prohibited.