Ex-South American Football Boss, Nicolas Leoz Dies at 90

Former South American chief of football, Nicolas Leoz, who was a key suspect in the huge FIFA corruption scandal investigated by the US Justice Department, was confirmed dead at age 90 in Asuncion, medical sources said.

The United States had sought to extradite the Paraguayan  one of the most powerful men in South American football  to face trial over alleged bribery and money laundering but his lawyers frustrated all attempts to do so, citing his frail health.

He died of heart failure in hospital on Wednesday, medical sources and local media reported in Paraguay.

Leoz had been under house arrest in Asuncion in connection with the scandal and was suspected of receiving millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for marketing and TV rights for games.

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In November 2017, a court in Paraguay ruled that the former president of the Confederation of South American Football (CONMEBOL) could be extradited to face trial in the United States, pending a medical board being set up to evaluate his health.

Leoz, who headed CONMEBOL from 1986 to 2013, had denied any wrongdoing.

The FIFA corruption scandal the largest graft probe in the history of world football led to the conviction and imprisonment of Leoz’s successor as CONMEBOL president Juan Angel Napout and former Brazilian FA boss Jose Maria Marin.

Forty-two people were indicted in the United States in connection with the FIFA corruption scandal which erupted in 2015 and led to the overthrow disgraced former FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

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Source: AFP

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