December 18, 2015 / 12:31 PM / 2 years ago

Switzerland OKs extradition of soccer's Figueredo to Uruguay

MONTEVIDEO (Reuters) - Switzerland has authorized the extradition of Eugenio Figueredo, the former head of South America’s CONMEBOL soccer body, to Uruguay to face trial on corruption charges, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Friday.

Acting President of the South American Soccer Federation (CONMEBOL) Eugenio Figueredo gives his first news conference since taking charge after the resignation of former President Nicolas Leoz, in Asuncion April 30, 2013. REUTERS/Jorge Adorno

CONMEBOL, an influential grouping that includes traditional soccer powers such as Brazil and Argentina, is heavily embroiled in a corruption probe led by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.

”Switzerland has authorized Figueredo’s extradition to Uruguay instead of the United States,“ the source told Reuters, requesting anonymity. ”Uruguay’s justice system has until Dec. 30 to bring him to the country.

“This is the only case in which one of the people under arrest was not extradited to the United States,” the source said.

Of 14 soccer officials and sports marketing executives indicted in the United States in May on bribery, money laundering and wire fraud charges involving more than $150 million in payments, eight were from South America.

They included two former CONMEBOL presidents, Figueredo and Nicolas Leoz, plus the Venezuelan federation president Rafael Esquivel, the former head of the Brazilian confederation and three Argentine and one Brazilian executives.

Reporting by Malena Castaldi; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Lisa Von Ahn and Steve Orlofsky

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