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Ex-FIFA Official Pleads Not Guilty To U.S. Corruption Charges

A former high-ranking official with FIFA has pleaded not guilty to corruption charges in U.S. federal court in a case targeting world soccer’s governing body that has roiled the sport.

Jeffrey Webb, one of seven FIFA officials arrested in Switzerland in May, was released on $10 million bond after his July 18 arraignment hearing in New York.

Webb, who faces charges that include racketeering and bribery, holds both British and Cayman Islands passports. The only one of the arrested officials not to fight extradition from Switzerland, he arrived in New York earlier this week.

Webb previously served as FIFA vice president and president of the CONCACAF regional soccer federation.

U.S. prosecutors say that over a 24-year period, the accused conspired to pay bribes totaling more than $150 million in connection with the awarding of broadcasting and hosting rights for the World Cup and other international soccer tournaments.

Swiss authorities arrested the officials on May 27, two days before FIFA’s annual conference.

Swiss prosecutors are also investigating alleged financial irregularities surrounding the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, respectively.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP