Former top FIFA official Jeffrey Webb has pleaded not guilty to racketeering and bribery charges in a corruption case aimed at football’s governing body.
Webb posted a $10 million bond at his arraignment in a New York federal court.
He surrendered three passports – two from the United Kingdom and one from the Cayman Islands – and will be required to wear an electronic monitoring device as a condition of his release.
Webb’s bond was secured by 10 different people including his wife and her parents, who attended the hearing. He did not speak except to say “Yes, your honour” when the judge asked if he understood the charges.
Webb’s lawyer, Edward O’Callaghan, did not comment after the hearing. Prosecutors also declined comment.
Webb, 50, was among seven FIFA officials detained in Switzerland. The rest are fighting extradition.
Prosecutors allege the defendants plotted to pay bribes of more than $150m – tied to the award of broadcasting and hosting rights for the World Cup and other tournaments – over a 24-year period.
Al Jazeera’s Gabriel Elizondo, reporting from Anguilla in the Caribbean, said the key allegation against Webb was that he received bribery money along with others totalling $40m for the broadcast rights to the Copa America tournament.
Our correspondent said the former CONCACAF president and former FIFA vice president once had “unmatched” power in football circles in the Caribbean.
“Perhaps ironically we was also on FIFA’s transparency and compliance committee,” he said.
Prosecutors allege all of the defendants plotted to pay bribes of more than $150 million – tied to the award of broadcasting and hosting rights for the World Cup and other tournaments – over a 24-year period.