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FIFA official in Switzerland agrees to U.S. extradition

10 July 2015, 19:46

Zurich - One of seven FIFA officials detained in Switzerland in a corruption probe has agreed to be extradited to the United States, the Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) said on Friday.

The seven were arrested in May in a dawn raid by Swiss police at a luxury hotel in Zurich, on corruption charges filed by U.S. prosecutors in New York.

Also read: Blatter denies responsibility for members' actions

Their arrests sparked a scandal which has engulfed Zurich-based FIFA, world soccer's governing body, and put pressure on Sepp Blatter to step down as its president.

The FOJ did not name the official or give any details on when he might be sent to the United States, but said in a statement it would take place within 10 days.

"The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York accuses him of accepting bribes totalling millions of dollars in connection with the sale of marketing rights to various sports marketing firms and keeping the money for himself," the FOJ said.

"The marketing rights in question pertain to the broadcast of qualifying matches for the soccer World Cup, regional soccer tournaments and continental soccer championships in North and South America."

A spokeswoman for U.S. prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York, declined to comment.

U.S. prosecutors say their investigation which is running parallel to a separate Swiss inquiry exposes complex money laundering schemes, millions of dollars in untaxed incomes and tens of millions in offshore accounts held by FIFA officials.

The United States last week filed extradition requests for the seven officials.

FIFA vice-presidents Jeffrey Webb of the Cayman Islands and Uruguayan Eugenio Figueredo were among those arrested.

The other five were Eduardo Li, Jose Maria Marin, Julio Rocha, Costas Takkas, and Rafael Esquivel.

- Reuters


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