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The First of Many? One FIFA Executive Is Extradited to the US

The man, accused accepting bribes totaling millions of dollars, was handed over to three US police officers who then accompanied him on a flight to New York.

by VICE News
Jul 16 2015, 10:50am

Imagen por Steffen Schmidt/EPA

Swiss authorities confirmed today that one of seven detained FIFA officials has been extradited to the United States, as part of wide-ranging corruption investigations into soccer's global governing body.

Switzerland's Federal Office of Justice said the unnamed man was handed over to three US police officers on Wednesday who then accompanied him on a flight to New York.

FIFA vice president Jeffrey Webb of the Cayman Islands has previously agreed to be extradited, and several outlets have now reported that Webb is the man who will now face charges in an American court. 

Six other FIFA officials are contesting the proceedings. 

Related: From Drug Money to FIFA: How Banks Facilitate Illicit Transfers Around the World

The official in question is accused of "accepting bribes totaling millions of dollars in connection with the sale of marketing rights to various sports marketing firms and keeping the money for himself," the Swiss justice office said last week.

All seven men were arrested on May 27 in dawn raids on a luxury hotel in Zurich by Swiss police at the request of American federal agencies.

FIFA is in the midst of the biggest corruption scandal in its history, and is subject to separate Swiss and US probes.

The American investigation alleges bribery and racketeering worth more than $150 million involving high-ranking FIFA officials over more than two decades.

Meanwhile, the Swiss federal authorities are examining allegations of money laundering linked to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosting awards to Russia and Qatar respectively.

Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA since 1998, announced in June that he will resign later this year after reaching the conclusion that his position was untenable amid the controversy.

US authorities have said more indictments should follow, and Blatter himself is also a target in the widening case.

Related: FIFA Fallout Intensifies as Putin Accuses US of 'Illegally Persecuting People'

The Associated Press contributed to this report