US submits extradition requests for FIFA seven
The United States has formally asked Switzerland to extradite seven FIFA officials - including deposed CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb - who are currently being held on corruption charges.
The Swiss Federal Office of Justice confirmed that the extradition requests had been submitted on Wednesday, coming over a month after the FIFA officials were arrested by police in a pre-dawn raid on a swanky Zurich hotel.
US authorities had up to 40 days to submit the requests, which meant the deadline ended today.
"The USA has asked Switzerland to extradite the seven FIFA officials arrested in Zurich. The formal extradition requests were submitted to the Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) yesterday evening," an FOJ statement said.
"The seven FIFA officials were arrested in Zurich on May 27, 2015, on the basis of a request from the USA, and detained pending extradition.
"On July 1, 2015, the US embassy in Bern submitted the formal extradition requests within the deadline laid down in the bilateral extradition treaty.
"The requests are based on the arrest warrants issued on May 20, 2015, by the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York, which is investigating the high-ranking FIFA officers on suspicion of taking bribes worth over $100 million."
However, the latest move is expected to spark a protracted legal battle. The seven officials will have 14 days in which to respond to the request, a period that could be extended.
Swiss officials also warned that any ruling handed down could face challenges in the federal criminal court and the federal supreme court.
Webb, also a FIFA vice-president, was the most high-profile figure arrested as officials gathered for a highly charged FIFA Congress in Zurich.
The Caymanian had been also poised to be formally installed for his first full term as CONCACAF president after being re-elected unopposed earlier in the year.
The other officials are Eugenio Figueredo of Uruguay; Costa Rican football federation president Eduardo Li; former Brazilian federation chief JosÈ Maria Marin; Venezuela FA chief Rafael Esquivel; FIFA staffer Julio Rocha; and Costas Takkas.