Juan Angel Napout Resigns as CONMEBOL President: Latest Details, Reaction

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2015

FILE - In this May 21, 2015 file photo, CONMEBOL President Juan Angel Napout talks during a press conference in Asuncion, Paraguay. Napout was arrested on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, in a pre-dawn raid at a luxury hotel in Switzerland as part of the U.S. Department of Justice's widening bribery case that has shaken world soccer's scandal-hit governing body, FIFA. The Swiss justice ministry says, Napout who is also a FIFA vice president, is opposing his extradition to the U.S. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz, File)
Jorge Saenz/Associated Press

Following his arrest, Juan Angel Napout has resigned as president of the South American soccer confederation. 

Per the Associated Press (via FoxSports.com), CONMEBOL announced Napout's resignation on Friday. 

The move comes after the New York Times reported on Dec. 3 that Napout and CONCACAF president Alfredo Hawit were arrested following "a series of pre-dawn raids" by Swiss authorities in Zurich following the "broad investigation, led by United States officials, into corruption in international soccer."

Some of the arrests took place at the same luxury hotel where other FIFA officials were arrested in May. Swiss police entered the hotel, the Baur au Lac, through a side door at 6 a.m. local time. A hotel manager told visitors in the lobby they had to leave the property because of “an extreme situation.”

The police were targeting current and former senior soccer officials on charges that include racketeering, money laundering and fraud, authorities said. The new charges were expected to hit South and Central American soccer leaders particularly hard, the officials said.

One day after the reported arrest, per WorldSoccerTalk.com, FIFA gave Napout a 90-day suspension from his post as vice president. 

FIFA's corruption scandal came to light in May 2015 when the FBI indicted 14 people on 47 counts including racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter was going to resign from his post, but Swiss newspaper Schweiz am Sonntag (via the Guardian) reported on June 13 he was rethinking his decision. 

The AP report notes that each of the last three CONMEBOL presidentsNicolas Leoz of Paraguay and Eugenio Figueredo of Uruguay, along with Napoutare under arrest due to their connection to the ongoing FIFA corruption scandal. 

Uruguay's Wilmar Valdez will take over as president of CONMEBOL following Napout's resignation. 

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