SANTIAGO: Sergio Jadue has become the second senior South American football official in a fortnight to fly off to the United States, apparently to turn state’s evidence in the $150m FIFAGate football corruption investigation.
Jadue was served with legal papers on Friday that forced him to hand over Chilean federation documents to the local authorities investigating financial misappropriation. Hours later the 36-year-old announced he would take a month’s leave for ‘medical reasons.’
On Tuesday night, however, he was reported boarding a flight to New York, where it is claimed by El Mercurio that he intends to become become an informer.
A Chilean federation spokesman said: “The trip is confirmed. He has travelled to Miami. He has a special permission for a 30-day medical leave and he continues to be the ANFP’s president.”
Local newspapers quoted an unnamed ANFP official as saying that Jadue was planning to collaborate with the FBI investigation. The source added: “It’s not a holiday. He is due back May 10 next year. Jadue is traveling as a protected informant of US justice.”
Luis Bedoya, the president of head of Colombia’s federation, recently resigned citing personal reasons after prosecutors began to investigate financial transactions he had undertaken.
Both Bedoya and Jadue were senior members of the South American confederation CONMEBOL whose murky financial affairs are at the centre of the many of the charges in the FIFAGate indictments.
The US Justice Department has indicted 14 soccer officials and businessmen on charges of bribery, racketeering, and money laundering. Among them are two former CONMEBOL presidents – Nicolas Leoz (Paraguay) and Eugenio Figueredo (Uruguay) who are contesting extradition to the US.