$201 million has been awarded by the US Department of Justice to the FIFA Foundation's World Football Remission Fund ©Getty Images

The United States Department of Justice has awarded $201 million (£146.4 million/€170.9 million) to the FIFA Foundation charity’s new World Football Remission Fund from the accounts of former officials prosecuted for corruption in the sport.

This will then be redistributed to the affected bodies, including the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL).

As reported by CNN Sports, the investigation has been ongoing since 2015, and charges including bribery, racketeering, fraud and money laundering have been levied against more than 50 people, mainly in relation to links between football officials and sports marketing companies.

The Department of Justice was quoted as confirming that "four corporate entities have pleaded guilty and others, including banking institutions, have acknowledged their roles in criminal conduct through deferred prosecution or non-prosecution agreements."

Earlier this week, as reported by Inside World Football, the former El Salvador Football Association President Reynaldo Vasquez became the 27th person to plead guilty to fraud charges in connection with the US legal action.

The initial indictment saw the arrest of FIFA officials in Zurich in May 2015, and led to the end of Sepp Blatter’s 17-year reign as President.

FIFA has insisted that it was the victim of corrupt officials’ crimes rather than a perpetrator.

The global governing body’s President since 2016, Gianni Infantino, said of the latest development: "I am delighted to see that money which was illegally siphoned out of football is now coming back to be used for its proper purposes, as it should have been in the first place.

Former El Salvador Football Association President Reynaldo Vasquez last week became the 27th person to plead guilt to fraud charges since the revelations broke in 2015 ©Getty Images
Former El Salvador Football Association President Reynaldo Vasquez last week became the 27th person to plead guilt to fraud charges since the revelations broke in 2015 ©Getty Images

"I want to sincerely thank the US justice authorities for their efforts in this respect, for their fast and effective approach in bringing these matters to a conclusion, and also for their trust in general.

"The truth is that, thanks to their intervention back in 2015, we have been able to fundamentally change FIFA from a toxic organisation at the time, to a highly esteemed and trusted global sports governing body.

"Thankfully, we are well past that unfortunate period in history now and it’s great to see significant funding being put at the disposal of the FIFA Foundation, which can positively impact so many people across the football world, especially through youth and community programmes.

"Since 2016, FIFA and the United States Department of Justice have been in close cooperation, and I believe this decision also acknowledges the significant progress we have made in terms of good governance and transparency, all of which was discussed and presented by FIFA officials and me in meetings with the authorities.

"Today, they know that with the FIFA Foundation this money is in good hands and will serve the purpose it is intended for.

"On behalf of all future beneficiaries around the world, I would like to thank the US authorities for the trust placed in FIFA, and we will make sure that these funds are used properly and bring tangible benefits for people who really need it."

Inside World Football reported that an initial payment of $32.2 million (£27.55 million/€27.6 million) will be made to the fund, and the FIFA Foundation will eventually allocate $71 million (£51.7 million/€60.35 million) will be allocated to CONMEBOL, $70 million (£50.95 million/€59.5 million) to CONCACAF and the remaining $60 million (£43.7 million/€51 million) to FIFA.

FIFA says money from the fund will be focused on youth and community projects, all of which will be subject to "strict monitoring, auditing and compliance checks."