The former president of Brazil’s soccer federation is due in a U.S. courtroom Tuesday afternoon, after being extradited from Switzerland. Jose Maria Marin was arrested along with top FIFA officials this past spring; he’s accused of taking millions of dollars in bribes.
At an arraignment for Marin in a federal courthouse in New York Tuesday afternoon, he pleaded not guilty, the AP reports.
The Justice Department says the arrested FIFA and federation officials were indicted for manipulating TV and marketing rights in addition to rigging votes on World Cup host countries.
Swiss officials said that Marin had initially fought his extradition, but that he agreed to be sent to the U.S. Tuesday. He is the second official to be extradited in the probe, after former FIFA vice president Jeffrey Webb in July. Five other former former FIFA officials are still fighting extradition.
Marin, 83, is a former pro soccer player and lawyer who went on to be the governor of the state of Sao Paulo. He became the chairman of Brazil’s World Cup organizing committee in 2012 and has served on FIFA’s organizing committee for Olympic tournaments.
In Brazil, the news of Marin’s arrest last May was greeted with shock – in part because it was an outside agency, the U.S. Justice Department, that had acted.
“The surprise wasn’t that he was involved in corruption,” a sports editor said, according to NPR’s Lourdes Garcia-Navarro. “It was that he was arrested. We never imagined that would happen.”
Earlier this year, Marin was succeeded as president of the Brazilian soccer federation by Marco Polo Del Nero — who has been the subject of speculation about whether he’s also implicated in the corruption probe.
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