Switzerland’s justice ministry says 2014 World Cup organising head Jose Maria Marin of Brazil has agreed to be extradited to the United States as part of a criminal investigation into football’s world governing body, FIFA.
Marin, former president of the Brazilian Football Confederation, was arrested along with six other FIFA officials in May and has been in Swiss custody ever since. The US had submitted a request for his extradition in July based on an arrest warrant issued by the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
Marin is accused of accepting millions of dollars of bribes from sports marketing companies concerning the sale of marketing rights for the Copa America tournaments for 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2023, as well as for the Copa do Brasil for the 2013-2022 period.
He also faces allegations of sharing the money with other football officials. He is accused of diverting funds from two of FIFA’s continental confederations, as well as from the Brazilian football association.
Marin had earlier opposed his extradition but agreed to be sent to the US during a hearing on Tuesday. According to Switzerland’s Mutual Assistance Act, he must be handed over to a US police escort and deported to the US within ten days.
Five to go
Former FIFA vice-president Jeffrey Webb from the Caymans has already been extradited to the US.
The departure of Marin leaves five FIFA officials in Swiss custody who are currently contesting extradition. They are Julio Rocha, former president of the Nicaraguan football federation, Costas Takkas, who worked for the Cayman Islands federation, Rafael Esquivel of the Venezuelan football federation, Eugenio Figueredo, a senior football official from Uruguay, and Eduardo Li, former president of Costa Rica’s football federation.