Swiss: 1 of 7 arrested FIFA officials agrees to extradition to U.S.
Authorities in Switzerland say that only one of the seven FIFA officials arrested in May as part of a corruption investigation has agreed to be extradited back to the United States.
Switzerland’s Federal Office of Justice did not identify the person who agreed to return to the United States.
The FOJ said the unnamed person is accused of “accepting bribes totaling millions of dollars in connection with the sale of marketing rights to various sports marketing firms and keeping the money for himself,” pertaining to the World Cup qualifying television broadcasts and other soccer tournaments.
The unnamed person must return to United States within within ten days.
The United States government filed a formal request for extradition last week, with a 14-day period for those arrested to respond to that request.
The men were arrested at a luxury hotel in Zurich on May 27 just days before FIFA’s congress. Those arrested include FIFA vice president Jeffrey Webb; former CONMEBOL Vice President Eugenio Figueredo; Costa Rican soccer federation president Eduardo Li; Former Brazilian federation chief Jose Maria Marin; Venezuela FA chief Rafael Esquivel; FIFA staffer Julio Rocha; and British businessman Costas Takkas.
A total of 14 people were indicted and charged with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies by the United States Justice Department, which accused FIFA of decades of "rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted" corruption by members of world soccer's governing body.
Swiss federal prosecutors opened separate criminal proceedings relating to the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which were won by Russia and Qatar, respectively.
Switzerland Attorney General Michael Lauber has said that banks in his country have noted 53 possible money-laundering incidents and more than 100 incidents of “suspicious activity” as the investigation continues into the bidding process of those World Cup tournaments.
Four other men have already pleaded guilty to crimes, including former FIFA executive panel member Chuck Blazer, who admitted to being part of a $10 million bribe scheme with former FIFA vice president Jack Warner for supporting South Africa's successful bid to host the 2010 World Cup.
FIFA banned Blazer for life from taking part in any kind of football-related activity at national and international level for committing six violations of the organization’s code of ethics
- Scooby Axson