FIFA Official Held in Swiss Extradited to the US
A FIFA official being held in Switzerland in connection to a corruption scandal was extradited on Thursday to the United Sates, the Swiss Federal Office of Justice said.
US officials had earlier this month requested the extradition of seven top FIFA officials who were arrested in Switzerland in May. The high-ranking officials of the world’s soccer association are suspected of receiving bribes of more than $100 million in connection with soccer tournaments.
The official was handed over to American police officers who accompanied him to a New York bound flight on July 15 in Zurich. However, the Swiss office did not reveal the name of the FIFA official who was extradited.
In a statement received via email, Andre Marty, spokesman for the office of the attorney general said, A Swiss investigation into corruption allegations on matters of the two World Cups has advanced to include 81 actions of fishy financial activity now under probe.
He confirmed that all reports were related to the ongoing investigation into the allocation of the venues for the editions of the FIFA World Cup; 2018- planned to be held in Russia, and 2022- in Qatar.
In earlier reports, both Russia and Qatar have however, publicly denied any form of wrongdoing regarding the bidding processes for the allocation of the venues for the two FIFA flagship tournaments.
FIFA has insisted that it has been cooperating with the investigation, including authorizing the search of its premises. Earlier in June, the probe was focused on 53 cases, according to reports by the Swiss attorney general, Michael Lauber.
Senior FIFA official Domenico Scala has previously said, ‘’should incidences of corruption be proven, the bidding process for the next two World Cups could be opened again.’’
The Swiss probe is ongoing alongside another investigation launched by the United States Justice Department. The matters of the activities were brought to light when a number of FIFA officials were arrested in May at a five-star hotel in Zurich ahead of FIFA world congress.