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Arrested FIFA official agrees to US extradition

The Federal Office of Justice did not name the person. Credit: PA

An unnamed FIFA official arrested in the ongoing corruption probe has agreed to be extradited to the United States.

The man, one of seven FIFA officials detained in Switzerland, will be sent to the US under police escort within the next 10 days, according to the Federal Office of Justice

Chuck Blazer banned from all football activity for life

Blazer has been handed a lifetime ban by Fifa. Credit: PA

Former Fifa executive committee member Chuck Blazer has been banned from all football-related activity for life, the world governing body's independent ethics committee has announced.

The ban was announced by FIFA's ethics committee for his "many acts of misconduct" at FIFA and as general secretary of the CONCACAF confederation.

Blazer, an American, has pleaded guilty in the US court to charges of football-related corruption including accepting bribes to vote for South Africa to host the 2010 World Cup.

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US asks to extradite seven Fifa officials from Switzerland

Fifa headquarters in Zurich Credit: PA

The United States has formally requested the extradition of seven Fifa officials arrested in Switzerland in May on suspicion of corruption and racketeering.

The men were taken into custody during a dawn raid at a luxury Zurich hotel on 27 May - just two days before the annual congress, and have been in Swiss jail ever since.

The seven men will now have extradition hearings, according to a statement from the Swiss Federal Office of Justice, before being granted 14 days to respond - with the possibility of an extension of 14 more days.

A ruling is expected within weeks.

Ex-Fifa chief Warner appoints leading British barrister

Disgraced former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner has hired one of Britain's leading barristers to help his fight against extradition to the USA.

Warner is doing his best to avoid extradition. Credit: PA

Edward Fitzgerald QC, who has represented controversial Muslim cleric Abu Hamza and Moors murderer Myra Hindley in the past, has confirmed he is advising Warner and his legal team in Trinidad.

Warner has been indicted by the US justice department on eight counts of football-related corruption and is currently on bail in Trinidad. Among the charges, he is accused of taking a 10million US dollar (£6.4m) bribe to vote for South Africa to host the 2010 World Cup.

Significantly, Fitzgerald has also represented Trinidad businessman Steve Ferguson who has successfully resisted extradition to the USA for the last 10 years.

Fitzgerald, who has won human rights awards for his cases challenging death sentences, confirmed to Press Association Sport he was working for Warner but said he could not discuss any details of the case.

Fifa president Blatter: I have not resigned

Sepp Blatter has fuelled speculation about his future by insisting he has not resigned as Fifa president but will lay down his mandate at a special congress.

Blatter announced on June 2 he would step down from the Fifa presidency at an extraordinary congress to be held between December and March. It followed the crisis that engulfed Fifa with 18 people indicted in the United States on football-related corruption charges.

Sepp Blatter has given some conflicting messages. Credit: PA

Now, in what is seen by some as a mischief-making attempt to unsettle his critics, Blatter used his first public appearance since his announcement to say: "I have not resigned, I put my mandate in the hands of an extraordinary congress."

It follows reports in the Swiss media that Blatter may consider putting his name forward again after being contacted by supportive national associations.

Speaking at the Fifa Museum, Blatter also added, according to Swiss newspaper Blick: "Only those who know the past can understand the present and shape the future. Or in other words: the ball is round - but only those who come from outer space know the actual dimensions of our sport."

Blatter attendance at Women's World Cup final in doubt

A source close to FIFA said the crisis is having a bearing over whether Blatter travels to Canada. Credit: PA

Sepp Blatter's attendance at the Women's World Cup final in Canada next week appears to be in jeopardy due to the twin investigations into FIFA by American and Swiss justice authorities.

Blatter would normally attend the final and hand over the trophy to the captain of the winning team but FIFA will not confirm whether he or secretary general Jerome Valcke will attend.

A FIFA spokesperson said: "In terms of the FIFA president and the FIFA secretary general, their future travel plans will be confirmed in due course."

Reports in the United States have said Blatter and Valcke are among those under investigation by the FBI, which has so far indicted 18 people on football-related corruption charges.

A source close to FIFA said the crisis is having a bearing over whether Blatter travels to Canada. The Swiss attorney general is also investigating the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Neither the president nor secretary general have been charged with any wrongdoing and the US has not requested Blatter's or Valcke's extradition. Should that change, as a Swiss national Blatter is protected from extradition from Switzerland by Article 7 of IMAC, the governing Swiss law.

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Liberian FA chief wants to be Fifa president

Musa Bility, president of the Liberia FA, has announced his intention to stand for the Fifa presidency.

Musa Bility wants to be the next Fifa president. Credit: Fifa

The 48-year-old has joined former Brazil international Zico in putting himself forward as a potential successor for Sepp Blatter, who is stepping down from the role despite being re-elected at a turbulent FIFA congress in Zurich last month.

An extraordinary meeting of the FIFA ExCo will take place in July, when the date for a new presidential election will be determined.

Bility insists an African name must be on the ballot, reflecting the continent's size and status in the world game.

He told BBC Africa:

Being the single largest bloc, if Africa does not put up a candidate it says a lot about us.

It shows a sense of mediocrity, it shows our only relevance is to go and vote to make leaders. I think that is not right, I think leaders must lead.

We (in Africa) are leaders, we are the largest group in FIFA. We must take the lead to reform the organisation, to unify the organisation, to bring football together. There is too much acrimony right now.

– Musa Bility, president of the Liberia FA
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