Rio de Janeiro, Dec 26 (IANS) Former FIFA vice president Eugenio Figueredo participated in a decades-old bribery scheme that “ruined South American football”, a prosecutor said on Friday. Figueredo was one of the seven FIFA officials arrested at a Zurich hotel in May after being charged with corruption by US authorities, reports Xinhua. The 83-year-old Uruguayan was this week extradited to his homeland, where he will be tried for money laundering and fraud. He is fighting extradition to the US. Prosecutor Juan Gomes said Figueredo took part in corruption “from the moment” he joined the executive committee of South American confederation Conmebol.
“Through contracts he signed after becoming president, he sought to legalise dirty money that was divided among a corrupt network that ruined South American football with an impunity that was maintained for decades,” Gomez said in a preliminary report. “He received large amounts of money from a scheme involving several members of the entity. The aim was to maintain the status quo with perverse corruption.” Figueredo headed the Uruguayan football association from 1997 to 2006 before being appointed Conmebol chief in 2013. Conmebol’s last three presidents have all been arrested as part of the US-led corruption probe.