US Requests Extradition of 7 Indicted Fifa Chiefs from Switzerland

The United States have asked Switzerland to extradite seven Fifa officials arrested on corruption charges in May, the Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) said on Thursday.

The officials arrested in a raid at the Bour au Lac hotel, Zurich have been in Swiss police custody since that faithful morning on 27 May. The arrest took place two days before Fifa’s annual congress.

They include two members of the Fifa Executive Committee, part of 14 people indicted by U.S. prosecutors on money laundering, racketeering and conspiracy allegation involving millions of dollars in untaxed incomes.

Former President of the Confederation of North Central and Caribbean Association of Football (Concacaf), Jeffrey Webb, and fellow ExCo member, Eugenio Figueredo, were among the detained seven in Switzerland.

Jeffrey Webb is currently a Fifa vice-president and executive committee member, Concacaf president, Caribbean Football Union (CFU) executive committee member and Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) president. Image: Getty.
Jeffrey Webb is currently a Fifa vice-president and executive committee member, Concacaf president, Caribbean Football Union (CFU) executive committee member and Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) president. Image: Getty.

The decision of the FOJ is understood might take up to a month, though it says it would rule on the extradition request within a few weeks, based on the demands of the law that the Fifa officials be interrogated first.

The U.S. and Switzerland had signed a bilateral treaty which in this case implies that the former had up to 40 days to file an extradition request. All seven Fifa officials are now expected to appeal that request.

The detainees were provisionally banned by Fifa’s ethic committee following the arrest.

A separate investigation by Swiss authorities into the decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments to Russia and Qatar has been running concurrently. FIFA has said that it is cooperating with both investigations.

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