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Accused former CONCACAF official extradited to USA

Costas Takkas, a former Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) and CONCACAF official, has been extradited to the United States on corruption charges by Switzerland’s Federal Office of Justice (FOJ).

Takkas was one of the 14 football and sports marketing executives arrested in Zurich in May, sparking a surge of investigations into corruption at the core of world football’s governance.

Formerly an assistant of CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb, who is being interrogated in New York after being accused of “accepting bribes totalling millions of dollars in connection with the sale of marketing rights to various sports marketing firms and keeping the money for himself”.

Takkas has been charged on similar offences, and will now be in the hands of US law enforcement.

An FOJ statement read: “The former secretary-general of the Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) and attaché to the president of the Confederation of North and Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) was arrested in Zurich along with six other FIFA officials on 27 May 2015, on the basis of an arrest request from the US. 

“He was then held in custody pending extradition. The formal US extradition request which was submitted on 1 July 2015 is based on an arrest warrant issued on 20 May 2015 by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. 

“Takkas is accused of demanding and accepting bribes of millions of dollars for the president of CONCACAF in connection with the sale of marketing rights for World Cup 2018 and 2022 qualifiers to a US sports marketing company.

“In its extradition ruling, the FOJ concluded that all of the conditions for extradition are fulfilled. Specifically, the facts laid down in the US extradition request are also punishable under Swiss law (the principle of dual criminality). 

“According to the request, by accepting bribes for the award of sports marketing contracts, Takkas massively influenced the competitive situation and distorted the market for media rights in connection with the World Cup qualifying matches. 

“Other sports marketing companies were placed at a disadvantage, and the affected football federations were prevented from negotiating more favourable marketing agreements. In Switzerland, such conduct would be deemed unfair practices under the Federal Act on Unfair Competition.”

Fri 9 Oct, 2015
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