North American soccer boss agrees extradition to U.S. to face bribery charges: Swiss justice office

Wed Jan 6, 2016 4:51pm EST
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ZURICH (Reuters) - Alfredo Hawit, acting head of the confederation which runs soccer in North and Central America and the Caribbean, has agreed to be extradited to the United States to face criminal charges, Swiss authorities said on Wednesday.

CONCACAF boss Hawit was arrested at a Zurich hotel on Dec. 3 along with South American football chief Juan Angel Napout, hours before they were due to take part in a meeting on cleaning up soccer's governing body FIFA, which has seen its top executives consumed by scandal.

"The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York accuses him of accepting bribes totaling millions of dollars in connection with the sale to various sports marketing firms of marketing rights to football tournaments in Latin America," the Federal Office of Justice said in a statement.

Hawit and Napout, who has already been extradited, were among 16 people charged last month with involvement in bribery schemes for marketing and broadcast rights, in a dismantling of a Latin American soccer network by U.S. prosecutors.

In all, 41 people and sports entities have been indicted by the United States in a scandal which has rocked soccer's governing body and also seen FIFA president Sepp Blatter banned for eight years alongside European soccer boss Michel Platini.

(Reporting by Joshua Franklin and Brian Homewood; Editing by Michael Shields and Toby Chopra)

A security guard is seen inside the National Football Federation head office of Honduras (FENAFUTH), in Tegucigalpa, Honduras December 3, 2015. REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera