THE United States has formally submitted extradition requests for several top FIFA officials, some of whom were arrested in a dawn raid on a Zurich hotel in May, shortly before the start of FIFA’s world congress.
The seven have been indicted as part of an FBI investigation into corruption in football’s international governing organisation, which is described in the charges as “rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted.”
The group includes two of FIFA’s seven vice-presidents, Eugenio Figueredo and Jeffrey Webb, who is also the president of Concacaf, the association ruling football in North and Central America and the Caribbean.
Former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner, who was also Webb’s predecessor in Concacaf, was arrested in Trinidad in May.
A statement from the US Federal Office of Justice said: “On July 1 2015, the US embassy in Bern submitted the formal extradition requests within the deadline laid down in the bilateral extradition treaty.
“The requests are based on the arrest warrants issued on 20 May 2015 by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, which is investigating the high-ranking FIFA officers on suspicion of taking bribes worth over 100 million dollars.”
Those indicted will have the right to appeal extradition, so there may be lengthy court proceedings before any of them face trial in the US.