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Former El Salvador soccer chief arrested amid FIFA probe



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SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — El Salvador police say they have arrested the country's former soccer federation president Reynaldo Vasquez, who is wanted by U.S. authorities on corruption charges relating to the growing FIFA scandal.

Salvadoran national police deputy director Howard Cotto says Vasquez was captured Wednesday in a housing complex in the Costa del Sol tourist area, 34 kilometers (21 miles) south of the capital of San Salvador. He said Vasquez "was alone and put up no resistance."

El Salvador's supreme court approved Vasquez's extradition to the United States last Friday. His whereabouts at the time were unknown and the court issued a warrant for his arrest.

The U.S. Department of Justice has accused Vasquez of receiving bribes from marketing company Media World in exchange for broadcast rights to international matches involving El Salvador.

On arriving at the police station, Vasquez told reporters he will fight his extradition, saying his lawyers are preparing to file a court injunction to be presented Friday to avoid being sent to the U.S.

"I consider the accusations unjust," he said. "I am innocent. I have no responsibility for the acts attributed to me by the government of the United States."

Vasquez is among 16 new defendants, most from Central and South America, named in a revised indictment that was unsealed earlier this month. U.S. prosecutors charged 14 others, including seven top FIFA officials arrested at Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich, in May.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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