Second FIFA official's extradition ordered

The second of seven arrested FIFA officials being held in Switzerland in connection with an international football bribery probe has been ordered extradited to the U.S. 

Eugenio Figueredo, 83, who has citizenship in both the U.S. and Uruguay, is accused of receiving bribes worth millions of dollars from a Uruguayan sports marketing company in connection with the sale of marketing rights to certain South American football tournaments. 

Swiss authorities said Thursday that Figueredo is also accused of fraudulently obtaining U.S. citizenship by submitting forged medical reports. 

According to the U.S. extradition request: “By accepting bribes for the award of sports marketing contracts, Figueredo massively influenced the competitive situation and distorted the market for media rights in connection with the Copa América [football tournament]. Other sports marketing companies were placed at a disadvantage and the affected football federations were prevented from negotiating more favorable marketing agreements.” 

Figueredo, the former vice president of FIFA’s South American Football Confederation, has 30 days to appeal the extradition ruling to the Swiss Federal Criminal Court. 

If he does not seek to contest the extradition order, Figueredo would be the second indicted FIFA defendant sent from Switzerland to the U.S. to face racketeering and bribery charges in what American prosecutors said was a decades-long scheme between top football officials and corrupt sports marketing companies. The scheme involved the marketing companies paying bribes to soccer officials in exchange for the commercialization rights to certain football tournaments, including the World Cup, authorities have alleged. 

Cayman Islands resident Jeffrey Webb was the first FIFA defendant to be returned from Switzerland earlier this year after he chose not to contest extradition proceedings. Webb is now under house arrest at his home in suburban Atlanta, awaiting an October court date. 

Five other FIFA defendants are awaiting the result of extradition proceedings including former Cayman Islands resident Costas Takkas, Eduardo Li of Costa Rica, Rafael Esquivel of Venezuela, Julio Rocha of Nicaragua and Jose Maria Marin of Brazil.

For the Cayman Compass’s full FIFA coverage, visit the Compass Data Desk.

Eugenio Figueredo

Eugenio Figueredo

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