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Corruption investigation


Swiss agree to extradite Briton in FIFA scandal




Swiss authorities have approved the extradition of another FIFA official to the United States to face corruption charges.

The Federal Office of Justice said on Friday that it will allow Costas Takkas, a British citizen, to be extradited based on a formal request submitted on July 1. The request was based on an arrest warrant issued by the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York on May 20.

Takkas was the secretary-general of the Cayman Islands Football Association and attaché to the president of the Confederation of North and Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF). He was one of seven FIFA officials arrested on May 27, two days before the FIFA presidential election, in a dawn raid at a luxury hotel in Zurich.

They represent half of the 14 football officials and sports marketing executives that have been indicted in the United States on charges of money laundering, bribery and wire fraud involving more than $150 million (CHF144 million).

On the same day as the raid in Zurich, US federal agents raided the headquarters of CONCACAF in Miami Beach, Florida, where they were seen loading a van with boxes of evidence.

US authorities accuse Takkas of accepting millions of dollars in bribes on behalf of Jeffrey Webb, the president of CONCACAF, in exchange for awarding marketing rights for the World Cup 2018 and 2022 qualifiers to an American sports marketing company.

Not final yet

Webb agreed to extradition and is already in the US to face charges.

Swiss authorities said that all of the conditions for extraditing Takkas were met and that the charges against him, as outlined in the US extradition request, also would be punishable under Swiss law.

“According to the request, by accepting bribes for the award of sports marketing contracts, Takkas massively influenced the competitive situation and distorted the market for media rights in connection with the World Cup qualifying matches,” the Federal Office of Justice said.

“In Switzerland, such conduct would be deemed unfair practices under the Federal Act on Unfair Competition.”

Takkas’s extradition is not yet legally enforceable, however, as he has 30 days to appeal the decision to Switzerland's federal criminal court.

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