ZURICH: Jose Maria Marin, former president of the Brazilian football federation, broke down in tears when visited in prison in Switzerland writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Marin, 83, was one of seven men detained by Swiss police in the 6am raid on the Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich last month on the eve of FIFA Congress. Also arrested were then FIFA vice-presidents Jeffrey Webb (CONCACAF, Cayman Islands) and Eugenio Figueredo (CONMEBOL, Uruguay).
The local judicial services were acting at the request of the United States Justice Department whose international football corruption indictment had identified Marin and 13 others.
Marin had been senior vice-president in the Brazilian football confederation to controversial Ricardo Teixeira and stepped up into the presidency by arrangement in March 2012 after the latter’s flight to Miami.
Simultaneously Marin also took over Teixeira’s role as president of the local organising committee for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil. Reports in Brazil claimed that Teixeira retained a lucrative consultancy arrangement under the terms of the change of command.
After the World Cup Marin stepped down as CBF president to be succeeded by his former No2 in Sao Paulo state, Marco Polo del Nero. Both men were members of FIFA’s Olympic football committee ahead of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics next year.
Del Nero had taken Teixeira’s place on the FIFA executive committee. He fled back to Brazil from Zurich before FIFA Congress could begin for fear of arrest himself.
Marin’s lawyers have sought, so far in vain, for him to be released locally on house arrest because of his state of health.
He is allowed one prison visit per week and associates who have seen him reported that he was upset to see them and broke down in tears.
Marin is allowed out of his cell once a day to walk in the secured prison garden.
He has indicated that he will contest the extradition application.