By Andrew Warshaw
May 2 – Former CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb, one of the first arrests in the burgeoning FifaGate scandal and still the highest profile figure to be indicted, has had his sentencing date put off for the fourth time since he pleaded guilty to racketeering and money laundering.
According to reports in his Cayman Islands homeland, a US District Court judge last month agreed to push Webb’s May 11 sentencing back three months to July 11. Webb’s attorneys had reportedly asked for a six-month postponement.
Co-incidentally May 11 is the date of the FIFA Congress in Bahrain and although there is no overt indication that delaying Webb’s sentencing – he faces a jail term of up to 20 years – had anything to do with the annual gathering of FIFA’s entire membership, there are likely to be whispers.
Webb, touted as a potential future FIFA president when he first sprang to power saying all the right things about credibility and transparency, pleaded guilty in November 2015 to racketeering conspiracy, three counts of wire fraud conspiracy and three counts of money laundering conspiracy relating to the US probe into football corruption. As part of a plea deal, he agreed to forfeit more than $6.7 million.
Later banned for life by FIFA’s ethics committee, he is alleged to have solicited bribes from sports marketing companies in exchange for lucrative broadcasting and commercial rights deals for various football tournaments.
A former FIFA vice-president who lived a VIP existence until US authorities pounced, Webb has been under house arrest in Georgia while the case has been ongoing though last year. The courts agreed to relax the terms, allowing him to travel beyond the 20-mile restriction initially imposed.
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