Football: Ex Fifa vice president Alfredo Hawit extradited to United States, says FBI

National Football Federation of Honduras Secretary Alfredo Hawit attends a news conference in Tegucigalpa on Dec 19, 2014.
National Football Federation of Honduras Secretary Alfredo Hawit attends a news conference in Tegucigalpa on Dec 19, 2014.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - Former FIFA vice president Alfredo Hawit has been extradited to the United States from Switzerland and is due to appear in court Wednesday to answer corruption charges, officials said.

US prosecutors allege that the 64-year-old Honduran accepted and laundered hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes as general secretary of the Honduran soccer federation between 2008 and 2014.

He is the fifth FIFA official extradited by Switzerland to the United States in connection with the multi-million-dollar corruption scandal that has rocked world soccer since May last year.

"He has been extradited," FBI spokeswoman Kelly Langmesser said.

Hawit was arrested in Zurich on Dec 3 and Swiss authorities announced on Jan 6 that he had agreed to be sent to the United States.

Prosecutors in New York accuse him of accepting millions of dollars in bribes in connection with the sale to various sports marketing firms of marketing rights to football tournaments in Latin America.

Hawit, who has been suspended by FIFA from all football activities, also served as the president the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).

The US Justice Department has charged 39 individuals and two companies over graft within world football going back decades, in a sweeping prosecution that has sparked an unprecedented crisis at FIFA.

The scandal has brought down FIFA president Sepp Blatter and his former heir apparent, Michel Platini, both suspended by FIFA judges for eight years over ethics violations.

Nine FIFA officials were arrested during two raids at a five-star hotel in Zurich, on May 27 and December 3, by Swiss police acting on US warrants.

Jeffrey Webb of the Cayman Islands, Brazilian Jose Maria Marin, Juan Angel Napout of Paraguay and Costa Rica's Eduardo Li were previously flown to New York.

Three others - Julio Rocha of Nicaragua, British-born Costas Takkas and Venezuela's Rafael Esquivel - are still fighting extradition.