First FIFA Arrested Official For Corruption Extradited To U.S.
According to the BBC, Daily mail and Reuters; Swiss authorities have officially approved the extradition of one of the seven detained FIFA football officials arrested in a raid and held in Switzerland since May 27, 2015.
The Swiss Justice department released the individual to a US three person escort and the individual was flown to New York. According to the New Times; the US has officially confirmed the name of the individual extradited as Jeffrey Webb; Webb stated from the beginning that he would waive his right to fight to block extradition to the United States.
Webb; from the Cayman Islands is the former President of the Central and North American Football Federation, the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, Concacaf, and also a FIFA Vice President. Webb is accused of bribery; accepting millions of dollars in connection with the sale of media, marketing and sponsorship rights to football tournaments in the United States and Latin American. The specific allegations are wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to commit to money laundering, obstruction of justice.
Each alleged suspect was arrested and held at the request of the US Department of Justice, which indicted a total of 14 current and former FIFA officials and associates on charges of “rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted” corruption” (US Department of Justice) following a major inquiry by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The investigation was initially sparked by allegations surrounding the bidding process for the Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022 World Cups, but was widened to look back at the dealings of world football’s governing body over the past 20 years.
The Department of Justice’s indictment says that the corruption was planned in the US, and that American banks were used as the source to transfer money.
The Six remaining officials; Eduardo Li, Julio Rocha, Eugenio Figueredo, Rafael Esquivel, Jose Maria Marin and Costas Takkas are contesting their extradition to the US. Additionally there are more indictments to follow. The question now is how much information will Mr. Webb provide to US authorities regarding the alleged corruption? And who will be the next official to agree to be extradited?
Fred Cromartie, Ed. D.
Dr. Cromartie is the Director of Doctoral Studies at the United States Sports Academy.