FIFA bans former vice president for life for taking bribes

ZURICH — Former FIFA vice president Eugenio Figueredo has been banned for life for bribery that was exposed by a sprawling American federal investigation of corruption in international soccer.

FIFA says its ethics committee found the Uruguayan official guilty of taking bribes in 2004 and 2015 linked to commercial deals for South American competitions.

Figueredo has also been fined 1 million Swiss francs ($1 million) but it is unclear how FIFA can enforce payment.

Now 87, Figueredo was a FIFA executive committee member when he was arrested in Zurich at a five-star hotel in May 2015. He was detained for seven months before Swiss authorities extradited him to face criminal charges in Uruguay rather than the United States. He was kept under house arrest in his home country.

A U.S. Department of Justice indictment published in 2015 said Figueredo obtained American citizenship nine years earlier after having "falsely stated that he had severe dementia" to avoid an English language test.

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