Swiss approve extradition of soccer official Takkas

Fri Oct 9, 2015 9:13am EDT
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By Joshua Franklin

ZURICH (Reuters) - Switzerland's Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) has approved a U.S. extradition request for soccer official Costas Takkas, one of seven individuals arrested in Zurich in May as part of a U.S. clampdown on alleged corruption in soccer.

The seven are half of the 14 soccer officials and sports marketing executives indicted by the United States on bribery, money laundering and wire fraud charges involving more than $150 million in payments.

Takkas, a British citizen, has 30 days in which to appeal the extradition ruling, the FOJ said in a statement.

He is the former secretary-general of the Cayman Islands Football Association and attache to the president of the Confederation of North and Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).

Of the seven officials arrested in Zurich, former FIFA Vice President Jeffrey Webb agreed in July to be extradited to New York, where he has pleaded not guilty.

The other six remain in Switzerland, though FOJ has also approved U.S. extradition requests for Uruguay's Eugenio Figueredo, Venezuelan Rafael Esquivel and Eduardo Li of Costa Rica.

All three have said they intend to appeal their extradition rulings, an FOJ spokesman said.

Extradition requests are still pending for Julio Rocha of Nicaragua and Jose Maria Marin of Brazil.

(Reporting by Joshua Franklin; Editing by Michael Shields)