A former high-ranking official in the governing body of the world's most popular sport appeared before a judge Saturday, entering a not guilty plea in a massive racketeering and bribery case that rocked international football.
Jeffrey Webb will not be the last charged in the far-reaching corruption case to see the inside of a US courtroom if prosecutors have their way — six more Fifa officials are charged and fighting extradition.
Webb posted a $10million (£6.41m) bond at his arraignment in 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 were in the courtroom. They posted real estate, retirement accounts, automobiles and jewelry as part of the bond. He did not speak except to say "Yes, your honor" when the judge asked if he understood the charges.
The Fifa bigwigs facing charges
The Fifa bigwigs facing charges
1/14 Jeffrey Webb, 50, Cayman Iskands
A Fifa vice president. His arrest came as a big surprise, as he had been tipped as the man to clean up Fifa once Blatter departs. Webb is also president of Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) and the Cayman Islands Football Association
2/14 Costas Takkas, 58, UK
A British citizen, Mr Takkas is currently an attache to the Concacaf president. He was previously general secretary of the Cayman Islands Football Association, of which Mr Webb is president
3/14 Jack Warner, 72, (pictured), Daryan Warner, 46 and Daryll Warner, 40, Trinidad & Tobago
The former Fifa vice president and head of Concacaf was a dominant force in football for 30 years, but was suspended from his roles in 2011 amid accusations of corruption dating back to the 1980s and an investigation by Fifa's ethics committee. He later resigned, ending the proceedings against him. Daryan Warner, the son of Jack Warner is also believed to have co-operated with the FBI. He pleaded guiltyin October 2013 to wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and the structuring of financial transactions, forfeiting $1.1m. Daryll Warner, another of Jack Warner's sons, he pleaded guilty to various offences in July 2013. A former Fifa development officer, he lost the job in 2012 after his father's resignation amid corruption allegations. He and his brother both face up to 10 years in prison
4/14 Charles Blazer, 70, USA
The former Concacaf general secretary reportedly turned "supergrass" to help the FBI inestigation, using a bugging device hidden inside a key fob to record meetigs with his Fifa colleagues at the London 2012 Olympics. In November 2013 he pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, and income tax evasion. Seriously ill with colon cancer
5/14 Rafael Esquivel, 68, Venezuela
Executive committee member of the South American Football Confederetion (Conmebol). It is alleged that officials at Conmebol, which organises the Copa America, received bribes from marketing executives
6/14 Eugenio Figueredo, 83, USA/Uruguay
The Fifa vice president and executive committee member is a big name in world football, having previously been at the head of Conmebol and the Uruguayan Football Association. A former right-back
7/14 Nicolas Leoz, 86, Paraguay
A former Fifa executive committee member and Conmebol president. When he retired in 2013 for health reasons, he said: "I've not stolen so much as a cent"
8/14 Eduardo Li, 56, Costa Rica
President of the Costa Rican Football Federation. He was elected to Fifa's executive commitee in March
9/14 José Maria Marin, 83, Brazil
The former president of the Brazilian Football Confederation is also a member of Fifa's committee for Olympic tournaments
10/14 Julio Rocha, 64, Nicaragua
Fifa development officer. Previously president of his country's football federation
11/14 José Hawilla, 71, Brazil
The owner and founder of the Traffic Group, a sports marketing conglomerate, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy in 2014. Two of his companies - Traffic Sports International Inc and Traffic Sports USA Inc - have also pleaded guilty
12/14 Aaron Davidson, 44, USA
President of Traffic Sports USA, is a large promoter of football events in America
13/14 Alejandro Burzaco, 50, (pictured), Hugo Jinkis, 70 and Mariano Jinkis, 40, Argentina
Alejandro Burzaco, a media executive who controls Torneos y Competencias, a sports marketing business. Hugo Jinkis, is the president of Full Play Group, a sports marketing business in Argentina. His son Mariano, is vice president
14/14 José Margulies (AKA José Lazaro), 75, Brazil
Although he is in broadcasting, it is alleged he served as an intermediary to facilitate illicit payments between sports marketing executives and Fifa officials
Afterward, Webb's lawyer, Edward O'Callaghan, did not comment. Prosecutors also declined comment.
Webb, 50, was among seven Fifa officials detained in Switzerland last spring. Prosecutors allege 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.
Following the indictment, Webb received a provisional ban and was replaced as the FIFA vice president from the North and Central American and Caribbean region. Webb was also president of Concacaf, the regional governing body for soccer in North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
A total of 14 men — nine soccer officials and five marketing executives — were indicted by the U.S. Justice Department in May, including former Fifa vice president Jack Warner, who is resisting extradition from Trinidad and Tobago. The revelations prompted Fifa president Sepp Blatter to resign within days of the arrests.
Webb promised reform when he was elected in 2012 to succeed Warner as president of Concacaf.
Other conditions of his release include having no contact with Fifa or Concacaf officials, nor any of his alleged co-conspirators, prosecutors said during Saturday's court proceeding in Brooklyn.
He was ordered to remain in the New York metropolitan area until his trial. He agreed to pay the cost for a private security firm to conduct around-the-clock monitoring of his whereabouts.
The scandal erupted in May when former Fifa executive committee member Chuck Blazer pleaded guilty to charges that included bribery and tax evasion. Blazer admitted sharing in a $10m (£6.41m) bribe scheme with others to support South Africa's bid for the 2010 world cup.
Blazer is a key cooperating witness in the corruption investigation. He had agreed to wear a hidden microphone during a meeting with Fifa officials. In exchange for Blazer's cooperation and guilty pleas to 10 counts, US prosecutors said they will not recommend a specific sentence for his crimes.
Webb, who is from the Cayman Islands, also has a residence in Georgia, prosecutors said during Saturday's proceeding. After the court proceeding, Webb hugged his wife and other relatives who posted the bond.
On Friday, sponsor Coca-Cola told Fifa to appoint an independent commission to lead a reform aimed at cleaning up the committee's governing body. The soft drinks giant said it asked Fifa to allow "one or more eminent, impartial leaders" to explore how the organisation can regain credibility and trust from fans.
Later in the day, McDonald's, another soccer sponsor, publicly rebuked FIFA for internal controls that they said were inconsistent with McDonald's standards.
Fifa said it valued the sponsors' input but did not endorse calls for a commission.