Swiss court refuses to release FIFA suspect on bail

ZURICH: A Swiss court has rejected a request by one of the imprisoned FIFA officials awaiting extradition to the United States to be released on bail.

The unnamed official asked for the release because of his "advanced age and poor state of health."

The hearing took place Friday but a statement was only released Monday saying that the Federal Criminal Court decided the arguments for bail were "not regarded as sufficient to counter the risk of absconding."

The court media office did not name the man but said he was one of the three officials whose US extradition requests have already been granted by the Swiss justice ministry after being arrested in May while in Zurich for the FIFA Congress. They are Venezuelan federation president Rafael Esquivel, ousted FIFA vice president Eugenio Figueredo and former Costa Rican federation president Eduardo Li.

The court also found that the unnamed man was "more than capable of traveling," has no close ties to Switzerland and electronic monitoring would not reduce his flight risk. Further medical tests are being carried out.

The trio is among six officials still in custody in Switzerland after being indicted in the FIFA bribery case launched by the US Justice Department.

The US blocked Nicaragua's attempt to extradite FIFA development staffer Julio Rocha. Costas Takkas, a British aide to former FIFA vice president Jeffrey Webb, and Jose Maria Marin of Brazil remain in custody.

Webb is the only one of the seven arrested in Zurich to now be in the US.

Sepp Blatter is still in power at FIFA after rejecting demands on Friday from four sponsors to quit immediately instead of remaining president until the emergency election in February.

When contacted by The Associated Press on Monday, both Coca-Cola and Budweiser maker Anheuser-Busch InBev declined to say what their response would be to Blatter snubbing their request. McDonald's and Visa have not responded to questions.