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Esquivel Third FIFA official to be extradited to US

Esquivel during a news conference in Caracas in 2012

(Keystone)

Switzerland has decided to extradite Rafael Esquivel, a former president of Venezuela’s football federation, to the United States as part of a criminal investigation into football's world governing body, FIFA.

The Federal Justice Office said the legal conditions were fulfilled to hand over Esquivel who was arrested in Zurich last May – together with six other FIFA officials - and has been held in custody since.

However, the ruling is subject to an appeal within the next 30 days.

Esquivel is suspected to accepting bribes for awarding sports marketing contracts to the Copa America tournaments in 2007, 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2023, according to the justice office.

Last week, the Swiss authorities approved a US extradition request for Eugenio Figueredo, a senior football official from Uruguay, but the 83-year old former vice president of the South American Football Confederation, can appeal against the decision.

Another former FIFA vice-president, Jeffrey Webb, was extradited from Switzerland, after agreeing to face corruption charges. He has pleaded not guilty.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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