Ecuador orders arrest of soccer chief amid FIFA scandal

Sat Dec 5, 2015 3:42pm EST
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QUITO (Reuters) - Ecuador on Saturday ordered the arrest of the president of its soccer federation, Luis Chiriboga, days after U.S. officials announced that he was one of 16 people to be charged in connection with a multi-million dollar bribery scheme.

The judge also issued arrest warrants for two other federation officials.

All three went voluntarily on Friday to speak with prosecutors after authorities froze their assets.

Chiriboga and another official were ordered to be held in house arrest, which is required by law because they are over 65, while the third was remanded into custody in prison.

Chiriboga has already been suspended by the soccer federation. His lawyer, Lucia Vallecilla, said prosecutors would have 90 days to review the finances of the federation as part of their investigation. She did not offer any further comment.

The heads of the associations that run soccer in North and Latin America, CONCACAF and CONMEBOL, and others with top jobs in the world governing body FIFA were among 16 people charged on Thursday on suspicion of bribery in connection with the sale of broadcast rights.

(Reporte by José Llangarí; writing by Alexandra Valencia and Brian Ellsworth; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Chizu Nomiyama)

Luis Chiriboga (L), president of Ecuador's football federation, faces the media as he turns himself in for questioning by the prosecution in Quito, December 4, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer