In soccer probe, Figueredo hopes to cooperate with Uruguay to avoid U.S. extradition

Thu Nov 5, 2015 6:30pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article
[-] Text [+]

MONTEVIDEO (Reuters) - Former FIFA vice president Eugenio Figueredo is willing to collaborate with the judiciary of his native Uruguay in its investigation into corruption in soccer in order to avoid his extradition to the United States, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Figueredo, 83, used to run Uruguayan soccer and was vice president of the South American soccer confederation CONMEBOL from 1993 to 2013. He then briefly headed CONMEBOL for a year before stepping down to take up the role as FIFA vice president.

He was arrested in Zurich on May 27 on the basis of a U.S. arrest warrant as part of a probe into soccer's top bodies.

The U.S. indictment accuses Figueredo of taking bribes worth millions of dollars from a Uruguayan sports marketing company in connection with the sale of marketing rights to the Copa America tournaments in 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2023.

His extradition to the United States is under appeal, while the Uruguayan justice has also requested to put him on trial on charges of money laundering. Swiss authorities must now decide which country they send him to.

"It is preferable that he presents himself before the justice of our country," his Uruguayan lawyer Karen Pintos said, confirming her client was willing to collaborate in making information available to the authorities.

A Uruguayan judge earlier this year seized nine properties belonging to Figueredo, as part of the country's investigations into his activities.

The prosecutor in charge of the case, Juan Gomez, said he would have to make available data that would enable authorities to identify the authors of the crimes he was involved with.

He would also have to provide data about foods and money that "would enable the state to recuperate them".

(Reporting by Malena Castaldi; Writing by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Bernard Orr)

Former FIFA Vice President Eugenio Figueredo speaks during a news conference in Asuncion this April 30, 2013 file picture. REUTERS/Jorge Adorno