FIFA of­fi­cial ar­rested in Switzer­land charged in Nicaragua

The China Post - - SPORTS -

One of the seven FIFA of­fi­cials ar­rested in Switzer­land has been charged with money laun­der­ing and cor­rup­tion charges in Nicaragua, a pros­e­cu­tor said, ex­pect­ing an ex­tra­di­tion to be com­pleted soon.

Nicaraguan Julio Rocha, the for­mer head of the Nicaraguan Football Fed­er­a­tion, has been de­tained in Switzer­land since a raid on a Zurich ho­tel in May.

He agreed last week to be ex­tra­dited to his home coun­try, ac­cord­ing to Swiss of­fi­cials.

The charges against Rocha were filed Aug. 4, pros­e­cu­tor Ju­lia Guido said.

Guido said i nves­ti­ga­tions de­ter­mined Rocha signed a broad­cast rights agree­ment with a com­pany from which he al­legedly re­ceived a US$ 100,000 bribe, adding that she ex­pected the ex­tra­di­tion to be com­pleted soon.

The United States has also de­manded Rocha’s ex­tra­di­tion as part of its probe into mas­sive cor­rup­tion at soc­cer’s gov­ern­ing body.

A Swiss j us­tice min­istry spokesman said last week they would not carry out the ex­tra­di­tion un­til U. S. of­fi­cials agree to put aside their re­quest.

Rocha was part of Nicaragua’s Olympic com­mit­tee from 1997 to 2009 and from 2012 was a de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer at FIFA.

One of the other ar­rested of­fi­cials, Jeffrey Webb, a na­tive of the Cay­man Is­lands and an exFIFA vice pres­i­dent, was ex­tra­dited to the U. S. last month.

The five re­main­ing FIFA of­fi­cials wanted by U. S. author­i­ties — all from South Amer­ica or the CONCACAF zone of North and Cen­tral Amer­ica and the Caribbean — have not yet agreed to be ex­tra­dited.

They in­clude Eu­ge­nio Figueredo from Uruguay — also an exFIFA vice pres­i­dent and Costa Ri­can Ed­uardo Li, who was sup- posed to join the FIFA Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee in May.

There was also Brazil­ian soc­cer fed­er­a­tion chief Jose Maria Marin and Costas Takkas, a Bri­ton who worked for the Cay­man Is­lands fed­er­a­tion and Rafael Esquivel, pres­i­dent of the Venezue­lan Football Fed­er­a­tion.

The seven were ar­rested dur­ing a dawn raid in Zurich on May 27 ahead of a FIFA congress.

The FIFA cor­rup­tion case, that also tar­geted seven sports mar­ket­ing ex­ec­u­tives, has shaken the soc­cer world and sparked world­wide calls for mas­sive re­form.

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