Bolivian Football president arrested

LA PAZ – The president of the Bolivian Football Federation and treasurer of the sport’s South American confederation was arrested yesterday in connection with a corruption investigation.

The probe, which also extends to three other Bolivian football managers, accuses CONMEBOL treasurer Carlos Chavez of “alleged corruption in the management of resources entering our country,” the public prosecutor said.

Bolivian professional league president Fernando Humerez, Bolivian Football Federation (FBF) head Jorge Justiniano and FBF secretary Pedro Zambrano were among those accused in the probe.

A court official said last month that the four men were being investigated for various crimes, including abusing their office, laundering illicit profits, misuse of influence and criminal organisation.

Chavez made an eight-hour statement before prosecutors.

FBF secretary general Alberto Lozada was also arrested for fixing international matches.

Several top CONMEBOL executives were recently indicted in a US probe into alleged massive corruption at football’s world body FIFA, and Paraguay’s Congress voted to repeal immunity of the group headquartered in the country in June.

Since the FIFA corruption scandal broke out in May, prosecutors have asked a total of 23 people to submit statements to Bolivian courts.

Former CONMEBOL president Eugenio Figueredo of Uruguay was among the seven people arrested in a May raid on a luxury hotel in Zurich, as were executive committee members Rafael Esquivel of Venezuela and Jose Maria Marin of Brazil.

Another former CONMEBOL president, Nicolas Leoz, was arrested in his native Paraguay and is currently under house arrest awaiting a decision on extraditing him to the United States.

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