SWISS authorities approved on September 23 the extradition to the United States of Venezuelan football official Rafael Esquivel who has 30 days to appeal against the extradition decision.
This is part of an ongoing investigation into corruption within the world football governing body FIFA and he was among seven arrested in May in Zurich, seat of FIFA´s headquarters, before their presidential election. In total, 14 have been indicted in the US on corruption charges.
Spanish-born, he moved to Venezuela when he was just four and started his career as a football official in 1972. Venezuelan players have described him as someone who is “pushy with a strong personality” after he became president of the Venezuelan Football Federation as well as a member of the executive committee of the South American Football Confederation.
Mr Esquivel is accused of receiving bribes worth millions of dollars in connection with the sale of marketing rights to the Copa America tournaments and faces 20 years in prison if found guilty.
Various former officials and vice-presidents of FIFA have been indicted and extradition is taking place not only from Switzerland but, in the case of Jack Warner, from Trinidad as well.
The well-known president, Sepp Blatter was re-elected this year but has stood down with new elections to be held in February 2016. So far no charges have been laid against him.