January 13 – Former El Salvador FA president Reynaldo Vasquez will be extradited to the United States to face charges of bribery and money laundering for his part in the FifaGate corruption scandals.
Vasquez was included in the second round of US Department of Justice indictments that were unsealed in December 2015 following the initial arrests in Switzerland of the so-called FIFA Seven in Zurich, in May 2015.
However, his extradition to the US was delayed despite a court having greenlighted it in 2017 as he had already been convicted for misappropriation of tax money in El Salvador.
Vásquez was sentenced in to eight years in prison by the local court and fined $400,489 for withholding relevant tax fees due for 204 employees in a local business.
The US indictment charges Vasquez of taking six-figure bribes from 2009-11. Vásquez allegedly received money from the Media World company in exchange for granting the marketing and media rights of El Salvador’s national team for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
Vazquez led the normalization committee that presided over football in El Salvador between 2008 and 2010.
He will now be sent to the US, pending the submission of covid-19 relevant documentation to the US authorities, within the next 12 days. The US will coordinate a special flight to extradite Vasquez, who didn’t attend the court hearing in person this week.
In October 2019, the FIFA Ethics Committee banned Vásquez for life, finding him guilty of violating the organisation’s Code of Ethics and handing him a €475,000 fine.
Vazquez’s extradition confirms the US Department of Justice has not taken its focus entirely off the corruption the indictments exposed within FIFA. In many ways the full force of that indictment will not reach its crescendo until former Concacaf president and FIFA vice president Jack Warner, the most high profile former official still fighting extradition in his native Trinidad and Tobago, is brought before the US courts.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1610874510labto1610874510ofdlr1610874510owedi1610874510sni@o1610874510fni1610874510