BUENOS AIRES/LONDON: Argentine businessmen Hugo and Mariano Jinkis, who are wanted by US prosecutors as part of the FIFA bribery investigation, turned themselves in to authorities in Buenos Aires on Thursday. Hugo Jinkis, 70, and his son, 40, were among 14 current and former FIFA officials and corporate executives indicted in the United States last month on charges of racketeering and corruption that shocked many in the soccer world. US prosecutors say the two, together with Argentine Alejandro Burzaco, conspired to win and keep lucrative media rights contracts from regional soccer by paying tens of millions of dollars in bribes. Burzaco surrendered to police in northern Italy last week. “They have presented themselves to the authorities, in line with the law,” Hugo Jinkis’ lawyer Jorge Anzorreguy told reporters. Argentine news agency DyN said the two were taken to a police station in Buenos Aires after turning themselves in at a local court. It was not clear if they would face immediate demands for their extradition to the United States. “As a matter of longstanding policy, we do not comment on extradition matters,” a spokeswoman for the US Embassy in Buenos Aires said. Only one of the 14 people indicted in the United States still remains at large. A lawyer for the suspect, Brazilian broadcast executive Jose Margulies, said earlier this week that he had returned to Brazil and was preparing to fight extradition. The Argentine tax authority has denounced all three Argentine suspects for “tax evasion, illicit fiscal association and money laundering.” Burzaco was president of Argentine sports marketing firm Torneos y Competencias when he was charged. Hugo and Mariano Jinkis are controlling principals of Full Play, another sports media and marketing business headquartered in Argentina. Meanwhile, Liberia football association chairman Musa Bility announced he would stand as a candidate to become the next president of FIFA following the resignation of Sepp Blatter, the BBC reported. Blatter announced earlier this month he was standing down after the body was hit by a wave of corruption allegations that are still sending shockwaves around the footballing world. The 48-year-old Bility is the second person to declare his candidacy after former Brazil international Zico. “We all agree in the world that football is facing a difficult moment and it is in difficult moments that great leaders emerge,” Bility told BBC Sport. “Africa is the largest voting bloc in FIFA and we must take the lead to bring football together.” Bility, who has led the Liberian FA since 2010, is not afraid to make a stand as in 2011 he broke ranks with the majority of his African colleagues by stating he would vote against Blatter. In 2013, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) banned Bility for six months for violating statutes relating to the use of confidential documents. Bility confirmed he had yet to receive the backing of five football associations, as required to stand in the race, but was confident of securing the support of his continent. “People know me to be bold, upright, outspoken and highly opinionated,” said Bility. “I say it like it is. When it’s not right, I don’t back down and I think that has gained me some respect. I have spoken to about half a dozen of the presidents of African football and I have their support — you can see the excitement.” He added: “If I have one reason to believe that Africa is not going to stand by me, I am not going to put up my candidacy.” The date for the presidential elections is expected to be announced after FIFA holds an extraordinary meeting of its Executive Committee in July.
Hugo, Mariano surrender; Bility set to stand for FIFA presidency
Published: 08:12 am Jun 20, 2015