Julio Rocha, the former head of the Nicaraguan Football Federation who was one of seven FIFA officials detained in Switzerland in May, has agreed to be extradited to his home country, the Swiss justice ministry says.

"At a hearing today, Julio Rocha, former president of the Nicaraguan Football Federation and former FIFA official, agreed to be extradited to Nicaragua," justice ministry spokesman Folco Galli said in a statement on Friday.

The Nicaraguan embassy had submitted the extradition request to Swiss justice officials in August, he added.

Rocha is accused by Nicaraguan authorities of taking bribes in connection with the award to a US sports marketing agency of marketing rights to soccer matches  [Reuters]

The United States has also demanded Rocha's extradition to face trial following the FBI probe into corruption at world football's governing body.

Galli said before any action is taken, US officials must first agree to give priority to the Nicaraguan request.

"If the US authorities do not agree, the issue will be decided by (Swiss justice officials)," the statement said.

Nicaraguan prosecutors suspect Rocha of taking "bribes in connection with the award to a US sports marketing agency of marketing rights to soccer matches," Galli said.

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The US probe into corruption at FIFA announced in May has so far led to charges against 14 people, including current and former football officials, and marketing executives.

US prosecutors allege the defendants plotted to arrange bribes of more than $150 million - tied to the awarding of broadcasting and hosting rights for the World Cup and other tournaments - over a 24-year period. Two of the marketing executives have pleaded not guilty.

Jeffrey Webb, a native of the Cayman Islands and an ex-FIFA vice president, was extradited to the US last month.

So far, Webb is the only official to agree to travel to the US, where he pleaded not guilty last month and was released on $10m bond.

Assistant US attorney Evan Norris, during a brief pretrial hearing for Webb, told a federal court judge on Friday that extradition negotiations were ongoing "with counsel of a number of other defendants" who remained in Switzerland, the Associated Press reported.

Norris didn't go into specifics and did not comment after the hearing.

Platini wins backing

Meanwhile, FIFA presidential candidate Michel Platini has won the key backing of the head of the Asian Football Confederation, Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain.

Sheikh Salman said in a statement backing the UEFA president on Friday that the world governing body would "need a leadership with experience, wisdom and ability to bring back stability to FIFA.

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"Mr. Platini boasts such characteristics and has an ambitious vision to renew belief in the organisation," he said.

Platini's closest challenger to emerge so far is South Korean former FIFA vice-president Chung Mong-joon.

FIFA will hold an elective congress on February 26 to decide on the replacement for outgoing president Sepp Blatter, who is standing down following the organisation's corruption scandals.

While Sheikh Salman's endorsement is a personal one at this stage he made it clear he wanted his region to be united in the vote "for the good of Asian football".

Source: AFP And Reuters