News 3rd December 2015

Two arrested FIFA officials named by Swiss authorities

Swiss authorities today arrested two of FIFA’s seven Vice Presidents in connection with the US Department of Justice’s (DoJ) ongoing investigation into corruption at the organisation, announced the Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FOJ). FIFA Vice President, Alfredo Hawit, President of the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and Juan Angel Napout, President of the Latin American football confederation (CONMEBOL) were granted a hearing with the Zurich Cantonal Police today, and both are opposing extradition to the US.

Hawit and Napout were not named in the DoJ’s original 161-page indictment announced on 20 May, however on 15 September, the DoJ announced that it was pursuing ‘additional charges’ in relation to its investigation into FIFA. Hawit and Napout make up two of seven FIFA Vice Presidents that sit on the organisation’s Executive Committee.

Hawit was made the interim head of CONCACAF in 2011, after Lislie Austin was suspended by CONCACAF following investigations into former CONCACAF President ‘Chuck’ Blazer. Napout is also an interim President of CONMEBOL, appointed in August 2014 to replace Eugenio Figueredo, who has already been arrested in connection to the DoJ’s investigation. Figueredo was also a FIFA Vice President, as was Jeffrey Webb, who was also one of the original seven FIFA officials arrested on 2 July.

The FOJ said it will now ask the US to submit formal extradition requests within the 40-day deadline laid down in the bilateral extradition treaty between the two countries. It said that extradition proceedings would begin as soon as the requests are received.

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