Suspended FIFA official Li extradited to USA

2015-12-18 19:58
(File, AP)

Geneva - Costa Rican national Eduardo Li, one the FIFA officials whose arrest in May ignited an unprecedented crisis in world football, has been extradited to the United States, the Swiss government said ON Friday.

Li, the former head of the Costa Rican Football Federation, "was extradited to the USA today," the Swiss justice ministry said in a statement.

"He was handed over to two US police officers in Zurich, who accompanied him on the flight to New York," it added.

Li, who was among seven FIFA officials arrested in Zurich on May 27 based on US corruption charges, thus became the latest of a line of former FIFA top brass to be extradited in the scandal that has rocked world football to its core.

Li's extradition came after the ministry confirmed earlier this week that he had withdrawn his appeal against his being sent to the United States.

The Swiss ministry also confirmed Friday that Eugenio Figueredo, another former FIFA vice president and former head of the South American confederation CONMEBOL, would be extradited to his native Uruguay and not to the United States.

He has been indicted in the United States on charges of soliciting multi-million-dollar bribes from sports marketing firms.

But authorities in Uruguay launched their own investigation and subsequently charged him with abusing his office.

Figueredo had agreed to be sent to Uruguay but was fighting extradition to the United States.

The ministry said it on Thursday "decided to give priority to Figueredo's extradition to Uruguay."

It justified this decision by pointing out that while criminal investigations into Figueredo have been ongoing in both countries for several years, the probes in Uruguay "cover more soccer tournaments than the US investigations."

"Uruguay would also be able to prosecute Figueredo on suspicion of having acquired US citizenship fraudulently," it said, specifying that that prosecution would need to happen "at the request of the US authorities."

"This means that Figueredo could be tried in Uruguay for all of the offences of which he is accused," it said, stressing that in the United States, "the prosecution would cover only some of the charges."

The ministry said that for security and privacy reasons "no details ... will be given on the timing of the handover."

Read more on:    fifa  |  soccer

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