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Football official to be extradited to the US

24 September 2015, 11:55

Bern - Swiss authorities said Wednesday that they have agreed to extradite former Venezuelan football chief Rafael Esquivel to the United States on graft charges.

He was one of seven football officials who were arrested in May on US warrants when they were in Zurich to attend the congress of the ruling body FIFA.

Esquivel is accused of having received millions of dollars of bribes for awarding marketing rights in the Copa America tournaments of 2007, 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2023.

The former president of the Venezuelan Football Federation and member of executive committee member of South America's football body CONMEBOL can appeal the Swiss decision within 30 days.

It was the second such decision by the Federal Office of Justice since last week, when it green-lighted the extradition of former FIFA vice-president Eugenio Figueredo.

One of the seven detainees, fellow former FIFA vice-president Jeffrey Webb, has already been handed over to US authorities.

FIFA's executive committee will be given an update of the Swiss and US investigations surrounding football's world governing body during its meeting that starts Thursday in Zurich.

Besides the US investigation on racketeering charges in relation to sports marketing rights, Swiss authorities are investigating the 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes in a separate probe.



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