Football: Fifa's Alfredo Hawit agrees to US extradition - Switzerland

Hawit will become the fifth Fifa official extradited by Switzerland to the US to face corruption charges.
Hawit will become the fifth Fifa official extradited by Switzerland to the US to face corruption charges. PHOTO: REUTERS

GENEVA (AFP) - Alfredo Hawit, a Fifa vice-president arrested during a pre-dawn raid in Zurich in December, agreed on Wednesday to be extradited to the United States, the Swiss justice ministry (FOJ) said.

When the transfer is carried out, Hawit, a 64-year-old Honduran national, will become the fifth Fifa official extradited by Switzerland to the US to face corruption charges.

Prosecutors in New York have accused Hawit of "accepting bribes totalling millions of dollars in connection with the sale to various sports marketing firms of marketing rights to football tournaments in Latin America," the FOJ said in a statement.

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).

He will be extradited within 10 days, accompanied by a US police escort, the FOJ said.

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.

A total of nine Fifa officials were arrested during two raids at the five-star Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich, on May 27 and Dec 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 have already been transferred to New York.

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

Eugenio Figueredo, the former president of South American confederation Conmebol, was extradited to his home country of Uruguay after Switzerland gave priority to Montevideo's case against its own citizen.

Switzerland has also handed over an initial package of bank documents to US prosecutors requested as evidence in the ongoing cases targeting top Fifa bosses.

Meanwhile, Switzerland is continuing with its own investigation into potential corruption during the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Russia and Qatar, respectively.

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.