ZURICH, Switzerland, Sept. 17 (UPI) — Switzerland approved the extradition of a top FIFA official to the United States as part of the Justice Department’s ongoing corruption investigation Thursday.
Eugenio Figueredo, former FIFA vice president and executive committee member, has been in a Zurich jail since May 27 with six other FIFA officials, accused of taking bribes from a Uruguayan sports marketing company in connection with the sale of marketing rights to the Copa América tournaments in 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2023, Swiss authorities said.
Figueredo is also the former vice president of the South American Football Confederation and former Uruguayan soccer federation president. He has 30 days to appeal the extradition decision by Switzerland’s Federal Office of Justice.
Swiss authorities said Figueredo “massively influenced the competitive situation and distorted the market for media rights in connection with the Copa América.”
This placed other sports marketing companies at a disadvantage, Swiss authorities said. Officials also allege Figueredo forged medical documents to get U.S. citizenship.
“The allegation that Figueredo used forged medical reports as part of citizenship proceedings would also be punishable under the Swiss Criminal Code as document forgery,” the country’s Federal Department of Justice said.
In May, the U.S. Justice Department charged more than a dozen FIFA officials, including Figueredo, of racketeering and wire fraud, among other things, in a “24-year scheme to enrich themselves through the corruption of international soccer.” The Justice Department filed the charges because the alleged crimes happened on U.S. soil, as well as internationally.