Football: Ecuador federation chief wanted by US in Fifa probe turns himself in Quito

Ecuador football federation chief Luis Chiriboga (centre) arriving at a court in Quito on Dec 4.
Ecuador football federation chief Luis Chiriboga (centre) arriving at a court in Quito on Dec 4. PHOTO: AFP

QUITO (AFP) - The head of Ecuador's football federation, one of 16 officials newly charged with corruption by US authorities, turned himself in Friday in his home country, which does not extradite its nationals.

Luis Chiriboga, who is also a member of the executive committee of South American confederation Conmebol, was among those named Thursday in the latest US indictment stemming from a sweeping investigation of corruption at Fifa.

"I have come voluntarily to cooperate with the prosecution," Chiriboga, 69, told journalists as he surrendered to local authorities.

Prosecutors said a judge had issued a warrant for his arrest and frozen his bank accounts after Ecuadoran investigators opened their own probe in connection with the US charges.

Two of the other 16 officials indicted on Thursday, all Latin Americans, were arrested in a dawn raid on a Zurich hotel reminiscent of the day the scandal at world football's governing body first exploded in May.

They are Juan Angel Napout of Paraguay and Alfredo Hawit of Honduras, both Fifa vice-presidents.

Chiriboga's lawyer said her client may be jailed for up to 90 days during the initial investigation.

"Ecuador does not permit the extradition of its citizens, but it assumes responsibility for investigating crimes, including those that Ecuadorans may commit abroad, to prosecute them here," said Attorney General Galo Chiriboga, who is not related to the indicted official.