Fresh turmoil for CONCACAF
MIAMI, United States (CMC):
CONCACAF was yesterday plunged into fresh controversy after newly appointed president Alfredo Hawit was arrested in Zurich on corruption charges and subsequently named among 16 FIFA officials accused of hatching an elaborate multi-million dollar bribery scheme.
The 64-year-old Honduras national was one of two FIFA vice-presidents nabbed in a pre-dawn raid at a Zurich hotel, where South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) president Juan Angel Napout also held by Swiss authorities.
Hawit, a former CONCACAF vice-president, took over at the helm of the embattled confederation after former president, Caymanian Jeffrey Webb, was arrested in similar circumstances on corruption charges, in an identical early morning raid in Zurich back in May.
Also charged yesterday were former Panama Football Federation chief, Ariel Alvarado; former president of Honduras and football federation head, Rafael Callejas; current Guatemala football president, Brayan Jimenez; former Guatemala football head, Rafael Salguero; current Guatemala football general secretary, Hector Trujillo who is also a judge; and Reynaldo Vasquez, a former Salvadoran football chief.
In an indictment announced earlier yesterday in a New York federal court, the United States Department of Justice said the officials had been engaged in "racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies" which had allowed them "to enrich themselves through the corruption of international football."
According to the indictment, the officials are alleged to be involved "in a number of schemes all designed to solicit and receive well over $200 million in bribes and kickbacks ..."