Alfredo Hawit of Honduras was named as CONCACAF president following the May 27 arrest of Cayman’s Jeffrey Webb, also in Switzerland. Webb and former CONCACAF executive committee member Eduardo Li are also charged in the U.S. racketeering case.
Arrested along with Hawit in Switzerland early Thursday was the president of CONMEBOL, FIFA’s South American football confederation, Juan Angel Napout of Paraguay.
Both men are charged, along with a number of others in a further U.S. federal court indictment expected to be released from the district court in the Soutnern District of New York Thursday
“In … light of further investigations conducted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, these individuals are now also suspected of having received bribes,” a Swiss Federal Office of Justice statement on the arrests noted. “The high-ranking FIFA officials are alleged to have taken the money in return for selling marketing rights in connection with football tournaments in Latin America, as well as World Cup qualifying matches.”
According to the arrest requests from the U.S., some of the offenses alleged were agreed and prepared in America and processed at U.S. banks
Swiss officials did not name the others charged in the indictment, but U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch was expected to make further announcements about the case Thursday.
Cayman’s Webb and former Cayman Islands resident Costas Takkas are facing charges in the original racketeering indictment from May 27. Webb has appeared in U.S. federal court and is now residing at his U.S. home in Loganville, Georgia, awaiting a hearing later this month. Takkas appears to be fighting extradition to the U.S. in connection with the case.
CONCACAF released the following statement about Thursday’s arrests:
“The Confederation of North, Central America and the Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) was made aware of the arrest of several international football officials that took place this morning in Zurich and that included the confederation’s acting and statutorily appointed President, Mr. Alfredo Hawit.
“CONCACAF remains committed to implementing fully the Reform Framework that it announced in July of this year. The majority of these reforms have already been implemented in CONCACAF’s administrative and compliance structures.
“Thursday’s developments only strengthen the confederation’s resolve in continuing to enact significant structural and governance changes to the organization, including substantial amendments to its statutes and fundamentally changing how it conducts business.”