US ask Switzerland to extradite seven FIFA officials

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The United States has submitted a request to Switzerland to extradite seven FIFA officials arrested during the dramatic dawn raids on May 27.

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The request comes in line with a 40-day deadline, as the three current and four former FIFA officials currently under arrest in Switzlerland have all rejected extradition to the U.S. They stand in line to face 20 years behind bars.

Switzerland’s Federal Office of Justice released a statement on Thursday, in which they confirmed the U.S. Embassy in Bern has requested the extradition of the seven officials who are alleged to be involved in the corruption case the FBI opened against world soccer’s governing body in May.

After the FIFA officials were arrested in the organization’s home city of Zurich, the FBI revealed that it was investigating corruption and racketeering involving over $150 million and high-ranking FIFA officials over a 24-year period.

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The FBI has indicted 14 individuals in total with regards to broadcast rights sold for international tournaments in North and South America. It is alleged that U.S. bank accounts were used to send the money for those deals as the FBI claimed “rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted” corruption exists within FIFA.

Those accused of corruption and currently under arrest in Switzerland include current CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb, while former FIFA Vice President Jack Warner has also been indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice and remains in his home nation of Trinidad and Tobago.

Current FIFA president Sepp Blatter wasn’t indicted by the U.S. DOJ but after winning his fifth-straight presidential election just two days after the morning raids on a luxury Zurich hotel, Blatter has since decided to stand down as the leader of world soccer’s governing body after 17 years in the job.

His successor will likely be named in December this year, as a date to vote on the new president of FIFA has yet to be finalized.

As for the seven officials facing extradition from Switzerland to the U.S., they can appeal in both the criminal and Supreme Court against the action so expect this to drag on for quite some time.