Football: Swiss mull extraditing Fifa's Figueredo to United States instead of Uruguay

GENEVA (AFP) - Switzerland is considering where to send former Fifa vice-president Eugenio Figueredo after Washington challenged plans to extradite him to Uruguay, asking that he be sent to the United States instead, Swiss authorities said on Friday.

Figueredo, who faces corruption charges in his home country of Uruguay, was indicted in the US as part of a massive probe into decades of graft at the top of world football.

The Swiss justice ministry (FOJ) in September approved Figueredo's extradition to both the US and Uruguay, but he had appeared set to head for his home country when he last week agreed to his extradition there.

But due to Washington's challenge, Swiss authorities will now weigh the two options and determine which is best, justice ministry spokesman Folco Galli said. "The US authorities have asked indeed (that) the FOJ give priority to the United States' request for Mr Figueredo's extradition.

"The issue will be decided by the FOJ," he added, without indicating when Swiss authorities were expected to render their verdict on the issue.

Galli said the justice ministry would, in accordance with its bilateral extradition treaty with the US, consider a range of factors including "the seriousness and place of commission of the offences... the nationality of the person claimed and the possibility of subsequent extradition to another state."

Figueredo, 83, a former vice-president of the South American Football Confederation, has been charged by the US justice department with using his influence to solicit millions of dollars worth of bribes from sports marketing firms.

He was among the seven Fifa officials arrested in May at a luxury hotel in Zurich by Swiss authorities acting on the US indictment, arrests that kicked off an unprecedented storm with world football's governing body.

While Figueredo was detained in Switzerland, Uruguayan authorities launched a separate investigation and have since charged him with abusing his office. He has until now fought extradition to the US.