Switzerland to extradite FIFA suspect to US

Zurich, Sep 17 (IANS) Switzerland Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) approved on Thursday the extradition to the US of an Uruguayan football official accused of taking bribes.

Eugenio Figueredo was one of seven officials with world football’s governing body FIFA who were arrested in Zurich on May 27. He was then held in custody pending extradition.

He is accused of receiving bribes worth millions of dollars relating to Copa America tournaments, Switzerland’s Federal Office of Justice said. He is also alleged to have acquired US citizenship fraudulently by submitting forged medical reports in 2005 and 2006.

He has 30 days to appeal to the Swiss Federal Criminal Court against the ruling on his extradition to the US.

“In its extradition ruling, the FOJ concluded that all of the conditions for extradition are fulfilled. Specifically, the facts laid down in the US extradition request are also punishable under Swiss law (the principle of dual criminality),” FOJ said a statement on Thursday.

“According to the request, by accepting bribes for the award of sports marketing contracts, Figueredo massively influenced the competitive situation and distorted the market for media rights in connection with the Copa America.”

“Other sports marketing companies were placed at a disadvantage, and the affected football federations were prevented from negotiating more favourable marketing agreements.”

The statement added: “In Switzerland, such conduct would be deemed unfair practices under the Federal Act on Unfair Competition. The allegation that Figueredo used forged medical reports as part of citizenship proceedings would also be punishable under the Swiss Criminal Code as document forgery.”

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