CIFA gets $128K funding in Finance Committee
One of seven defendants in the U.S. racketeering probe involving high-level FIFA officials and sports marketing executives has appealed against his detention in Switzerland.
The Swiss Federal Office of Justice announced Wednesday that the appeal was lodged against the office in Swiss federal criminal court.
“The federal criminal court will rule on whether or not he will have to remain in custody for the entire length of the extradition proceeding,” Ingrid Ryser, a spokesperson for the federal office stated, adding that both parties in the case have the right of appeal to the Swiss federal supreme court once a decision is made.
Ms. Ryser said she could not identify the defendant appealing against his detention due to privacy reasons.
The seven FIFA officials arrested in Zurich, Switzerland on May 27 including Cayman’s Jeffrey Webb, have remained in detention pending extradition to the United States.
“The persons are still being detained … at a number of different facilities in Canton [county] of Zurich,” Ms. Ryser said in an email sent last week.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York has repeatedly declined to comment on the status of its extradition request for the seven defendants, all of whom are accused in various bribery and money laundering schemes in a 47-count U.S. federal indictment.
According to the Swiss Federal Office of Justice’s website: “For those individuals who are contesting extradition, the Federal Office of Justice will now ask the U.S.A. to submit formal extradition requests within the 40-day period provided for in the bilateral extradition treaty. Extradition proceedings will be resumed as soon as these requests have been received.”
According to the extradition treaty, the defendants may be held in detention for the full 40-day period, but it is not required, depending on what the Swiss courts decide. It has now been 14 days since the men were detained. The U.S. has until July 3 to send an extradition request.
Until the Federal Office of Justice rules on the case, the seven defendants can always change their minds and agree to simplified extradition proceedings, at which point they would be turned over to U.S. authorities immediately, officials said.
Although FIFA remains in turmoil, the Cayman Islands Football Association is proceeding under new leadership.
On Monday night in Finance Committee, members of the Legislative Assembly voted without debate to give almost $128,000 to the Cayman Islands Football Association.
After Webb’s arrest in Zurich, CIFA last week suspended Webb and named Vice President Bruce Blake as provisional head of the organization.
Legislators approved giving $127,775 to CIFA in the Finance Committee at about 9 p.m. Monday without debate. The expense was bundled with grants to a number of other non-governmental sports programs, including the Amateur Swimming Association, the Basketball Association and others, totalling more than $800,000.
According to budget documents, CIFA will use the money for sports programs and creating a new five-year strategic development plan. Government funding for the next fiscal year is the same as the current year.
The international CONCACAF under-15 tournament, touted as the biggest sports event in Cayman’s history, was cancelled this week as local and regional football officials deal with the fallout from the ongoing FIFA scandal. Thirty-seven teams, including England and Brazil, had planned to come to Cayman for the August tournament.
Webb started the tournament in 2013 in his first year as CONCACAF president. CONCACAF is the regional association, under FIFA, covering North and Central America and the Caribbean.