The third of seven FIFA officials arrested in May during a U.S. law enforcement raid at a Zurich hotel has been ordered to be extradited to America.
The former president of the Venezuelan Football Federation, Rafael Esquivel, has been in custody pending extradition proceedings. He has 30 days to appeal the Swiss Federal Office of Justice’s ruling on the extradition.
Esquivel is charged in connection with the alleged receipt of bribes worth millions of dollars for the sale of marketing rights to the Copa América football tournaments in 2007, 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2023.
Esquivel, 68, joins co-defendant Eugenio Figueredo, 83, who has also been ordered extradited to the U.S. by the Swiss Federal Office of Justice.
Figueredo, 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 Figueredo is also accused of fraudulently obtaining U.S. citizenship by submitting forged medical reports.
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 under house arrest at his home in suburban Atlanta, awaiting an October court date.