Former CONMEBOL (South American Football Confederation) and FIFA Vice President Juan Angel Napout has agreed to be extradited to the United States in a soccer corruption scandal with various members of FIFA, the Swiss Federal Office of Justice said on Tuesday. The 57-year old Paraguayan was arrested on Thursday after Swiss authorities undertook a pre-dawn raid in Zurich where more than a dozen FIFA officials have been arrested on charges of corruption.
What did he do?
Juan Angel Napout has been charged for having received bribes worth millions of dollars from broadcasting rights to the Copa America and Copa Libertadores tournaments. According to the U.S indictment led by Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Napout ''sought to portray himself as an agent of reform, notwithstanding his own long-standing involvement in the solicitation and receipt of bribe and kickback payments in exchange for his influence as a CONMEBOL and FIFA official.'' Many other charges include relating to racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering, and could face a 20-year sentence if convicted on American soil.
Who is Juan Angel Napout?
Napout, a Paraguayan of Palestinian origin, was the President of the South American Football Confederation following the resignation of two other FIFA members who have also been charged on corruption by the FBI, compatriot Nicolás Léoz, who was the president for 27 years from 1986-2013 and Uruguayan Eugenio Figueredo.
He was elected President of CONMEBOL on an interim basis in August 2014 and was re-elected for a full mandate in March of this year, having served the post for only nine months. Before taking charge of CONMEBOL and eventually becoming FIFA Vice President, he was the President of the Paraguayan Football Association from 2003-2014, having been a part of the governing body since 1991. During that time, he was able to play a vital role in the national team's best run in its history when they went to four straight FIFA World Cups from 1998 to 2010.