Costas Takkas, former secretary-general of the Cayman Islands Football Association, has been extradited from Switzerland to the United States as part of a crackdown on alleged corruption in football. Only one FIFA official remains in Swiss custody.
Two US police officers took charge of Takkas in Zurich on Tuesday and accompanied him on the flight to New York, the Federal Office of Justice said in a statement.
Costas Takkas, a British citizen, was arrested in Zurich along with six other FIFA officials on May 27, 2015, on the basis of an arrest request from the US. Zurich-based FIFA is world football’s governing body.
US authorities accuse Takkas of accepting millions of dollars in bribes on behalf of Jeffrey Webb, the president of CONCACAF (the Confederation of North and Central American and Caribbean Association Football), in exchange for awarding marketing rights for the World Cup 2018 and 2022 qualifiers to an American sports marketing company.
The Federal Office of Justice approved his extradition to the US on October 9. Takkas’s appeal against this decision to the Federal Criminal Court was rejected on March 3. Takkas decided not to lodge an appeal with the Federal Supreme Court.
Swiss authorities said on October 9 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,” a statement said.
“In Switzerland, such conduct would be deemed unfair practices under the Federal Act on Unfair Competition.”
And then there was one
Julio Rocha, former President of the Nicaraguan Football Federation, is now the only FIFA official still in Swiss custody.
Swiss justice authorities approved his extradition to the US on October 15, giving it precedence over extradition to Nicaragua.
His appeal against this decision to the Federal Criminal Court was rejected on March 16. This decision is not yet legally binding as Rocha has ten days in which to lodge an appeal with the Federal Supreme Court.
swissinfo.ch and agencies