Webb agrees to be extradited
NEW YORK / ZURICH, July 11
Jeffrey Webb, one of seven current and former officials of soccer’s world governing body FIFA arrested in Switzerland in May, has agreed to be extradited to the United States to face corruption charges, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday.
The Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) had said earlier on Friday that one of those detained had agreed not to fight extradition but it did not identify the official. The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed to Reuters that Webb, a former FIFA vice president and president of the CONCACAF regional soccer federation, was the official concerned. Bloomberg News first reported that Webb, a citizen of the Cayman Islands, was the person.
A US lawyer for Webb declined to comment. Without identifying Webb, the Swiss FOJ said that a transfer of the person would take place within 10 days. A spokeswoman for US prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York, declined to comment. Webb was one of the powerful figures arrested in Zurich on May 27 two days before FIFA’s annual congress, stunning world soccer.
An indictment unsealed by US prosecutors in Brooklyn charged soccer officials and marketing executives with exploiting the sport for their own gain through bribes of $150 million over 24 years. The scandal put pressure on FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who said on June 2 he planned to resign. Webb is charged with racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering. He has been provisionally banned from his posts at FIFA and CONCACAF.
The US indictment describes Webb as using his influential positions to solicit bribes from sports marketing companies in exchange for the commercial rights to soccer matches. One $500,000 bribe payment from a sports marketing firm called Traffic went to build a swimming pool at Webb’s house in Loganville, Georgia, the indictment charged. Last week, Cayman Islands officials announced separate charges against Webb in an unrelated healthcare fraud case.