Wednesday 7 December 2016

Fifa official agrees to be extradited to US in bribery case

Published 28/10/2015 | 14:01

Jose Maria Marin was the head of organising the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Jose Maria Marin was the head of organising the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

The head of organising the 2014 World Cup in Brazil has agreed to be extradited to the United States in the Fifa bribery case.

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Jose Maria Marin agreed to the US request at a judicial hearing, Switzerland's justice ministry said in a statement.

He "must be placed in the custody of a US police escort and taken to the USA within 10 days", the statement added.

Mr Marin, 83, was arrested on May 27 in a dawn raid at a luxury hotel in Zurich, two days before the Fifa presidential election.

He is accused of taking "bribes worth millions of dollars from sports marketing companies" in connection with four Copa America tournaments and the Copa do Brasil from 2013 through 2022.

"He is alleged to have shared these bribes with other soccer officials," the ministry said.

Mr Marin faces 20 years in prison on racketeering charges.

He is the last of the seven officials arrested in May to have the result of their extradition hearings announced.

Jeffrey Webb, a Cayman Islands banker who was then a Fifa vice president, also agreed to be extradited in July. The other five officials are appealing against their extradition at Switzerland's federal criminal court, the ministry said.

Mr Marin was appointed to the 2014 World Cup role after the resignation of Ricardo Teixeira, who was implicated in a previous Fifa scandal for taking million-dollar kickbacks from World Cup broadcasting deals.

He also succeeded Teixeira, a long-time Fifa executive committee member, as president of Brazilian football's governing body in 2012. He held that position until last April.

At the time of his arrest, Mr Marin was involved in Fifa's organisation of the football tournament for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

He is among 14 football and marketing officials indicted in an alleged bribery and racketeering conspiracy allegedly worth more than 150 million US dollars (£98 million).

The alleged bribes were linked to hosting and broadcasting rights for the World Cup and continental tournaments in North and South America.

Mr Marin and several South and North American officials already shared at least 40 million US dollars (£26 million) in bribes paid, according to the US indictment published in May.

The money was linked to various editions of the Copa America tournament, including the centenary event scheduled to be hosted by the United States next year.

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