Prosecutor: Banned FIFA official in US to face charges
NEW YORK (AP) A top former FIFA official has arrived in the United States to face racketeering and bribery charges in a sweeping corruption case that sent shock waves throughout the soccer world, a U.S. prosecutor confirmed Friday.
At a hearing in federal court in Brooklyn, a judge asked the government about the status of Jeffrey Webb. Assistant U.S. Attorney Evan Norris confirmed reports Webb had been extradicted from Switzerland but added that no court date has been set.
The 50-year-old Webb was among seven FIFA officials detained in Switzerland. The rest are fighting extradition, Norris said, adding that it could take several months before they appear in a U.S. court if they exhaust all appeal options.
Since the indictment, Webb was banned provisionally and replaced as the FIFA vice president from the North and Central American and Caribbean region. From the Cayman Islands, Webb also was president of the regional governing body CONCACAF.
There was no immediate response to messages left Friday with Webb's lawyer.
The courtroom exchange came at a hearing for another defendant, Aaron Davidson, president of the marketing company Traffic Sports USA. U.S. District Judge Raymond J. Dearie granted a postponement of the Davidson's case after lawyers notified him that they were involved in plea negotiations.
A total of 14 men - nine soccer officials and five marketing executives - were indicted by the U.S. Justice Department in May, including former FIFA vice president Jack Warner, who is resisting extradition from Trinidad and Tobago.
Prosecutors allege the defendants plotted to pay bribes of more than $150 million over a 24-year period. The payments were tied to the award of broadcasting and hosting rights for the World Cup, continental championships in North and South America, and regional club tournaments.
Webb promised reform when he was elected in 2012 to succeed Warner as president of CONCACAF.