FIFA extradition request deadline looms

American authorities have until Friday to submit extradition requests for the seven indicted FIFA officials who were arrested in Zurich May 27 on racketeering charges.

Among those awaiting word on the extradition are Caymanian businessman Jeffrey Webb, FIFA’s former vice president, and long-time Cayman Islands resident Costas Takkas.

Last week, the Swiss courts refused to allow one of the defendants being held in connection with the case to be released on bail pending extradition proceedings.

Swiss court records indicated that one of the defendants, a citizen of Uruguay, had requested release from detention due to his age and declining health.

Eugenio Figueredo, 83, the head of the Uruguayan football federation, is the only Uruguay national among those arrested on May 27 just ahead of FIFA’s annual meeting.

Switzerland’s Federal Office of Justice representatives said none of the seven defendants had agreed to waive extradition proceedings and that they were all being kept in different locations in the Canton [county] of Zurich.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York has declined to comment on the status of the extradition request for the seven defendants, who are all accused in various bribery and money laundering schemes in a 47-count U.S. federal indictment out of the eastern district.

The indictment generally alleges that the various FIFA officials sought, facilitated and/or accepted bribe payments from sports marketing companies in exchange for granting those companies the commercialization rights to world and regional football tournaments. Many of those alleged bribe payments ended up being funneled through U.S. banks.