Ex-Costa Rica soccer chief pleads not guilty in FIFA probe

NEW YORK (AP) The former head of the Costa Rican football federation has pleaded not guilty in the U.S. after being charged in a sprawling investigation of bribes and kickbacks involving FIFA (FEE'-fuh), soccer's governing body.

Eduardo Li pleaded not guilty during an initial appearance Friday in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.

Authorities say Li was extradited to the U.S. a week after withdrawing his appeal against being sent. He was brought to New York on Friday.

Li's attorney says his client voluntarily returned to the U.S. and intends to fight the allegations.

About 20 soccer officials have been indicted on charges stemming from the U.S. investigation of corruption in the sport.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.