BERN: Jose Maria Marin must spend at least another weekend shut away in prison in Switzerland, his hopes of a decision this week on extradition still under consideration writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Marin was one of  seven senior football executives detained in Zurich on May 27 as Swiss police executed arrest warrants on behalf of the United States Department of Justice. He and the others were served with indictments connected to the $150m FIFAGate corruption investigation.

The Swiss Federal Office of Justice has already overseen the extradition of former CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb and approved the departures from detention of Uruguayan Eugenio Figueredo (former president of CONMEBOL and another FIFA vice-president), Venezuela federation boss Rafael Esquivel and Costa Rican Eduardo Li, who was about to take up his seat on the executive committee of the world federation.

Whereas Webb was prepared to accept extradition most of the other six are believed to want to contest the applications.

Marin, however, has been reported in Brazil as being prepared to accept extradition if he can be released on bail to house arrest in an apartment he leases in Trump Tower on New York’s Fifth Avenue. It is assumed his legal representatives are discussing an eventual possible plea bargain in return for information to assist their investigation into allegations of fraud, conspiracy and money-laundering.

Concerns have been expressed for the health of the 83-year-old former governor of the state of Sao Paulo who is held in solitary confinement with few visitors. He also speaks little English and no German or French.

However, whatever he may hope to arrange with US DoJ negotiators, the ultimate decision on the terms of his residence while he awaits trial probably later next year rests with the court in Brooklyn which is supervising the FIFAGate case.

Teixeira link

Marin was a close associate of disgraced former CBF president Ricardo Teixeira. He took over the CBF presidency when Teixeira fled to Miami in 2012 and remained in office throughout Brazil’s hosting of the 2014 World Cup. He was then appointed as a member of FIFA’s Olympic football committee ahead of the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Within hours of being detained by Swiss police, Marin was suspended indefinitely from all football activities by the FIFA ethics committee.

Marin’s successor as CBF president, Marco Polo Del Nero, flew home to Brazil within hours of the arrests. Del Nero has since refused to leave Brazil for fear that he could be extradited to the United States in connection with whatever prosecutors may have learned during discussions with Marin’s legal team.