One of the defendants named in the indictment brought against several former and current FIFA officials by the U.S. Department of Justice is Eugenio Figueredo.
Figueredo, who holds both Uruguayan (by birth) and U.S. (naturalized) citizenship, is a current FIFA vice president and executive committee member. He also previously served as CONMEBOL (the South American federation) president and the president of Uruguay’s soccer federation.
Aside from the whole being indicted thing, Figueredo has a pretty solid resume. But the indictment contains more impressive factoids about the former fearless Uruguayan hero.
Per the indictment, according to Figueredo’s U.S. naturalization application, filed in 2005, he worked in “sales” and at a “decorative rock” business starting in 1997. If true, that’s impressive. Transitioning from the decorative rock business to president of Uruguay’s soccer federation might be the greatest pivot to power in global soccer history — that is, unless “decorative rocks” is actually short-hand for diamond smuggler or something.
But it gets better.
The indictment further states that Figueredo, in that same naturalization application, falsely affirmed under penalty of perjury that he “neither worked anywhere else in the previous five years nor ever had any affiliation with any organization or association in the United States or any other place.”
Figueredo also allegedly perjured himself by claiming he was “exempt from the required English language and civics exams because of a mental disability.”
Basically, he claimed he couldn’t take the citizenship exams because he was mentally disabled.
Stop laughing. There’s more.
Figueredo got his hands on the magic U.S. papers in August 2006. But prior to the acquisition of his passport, he submitted false documents providing further background about his mental disability. According to Figueredo’s allegedly fake documents, he had severe dementia.
That’s amazing. We’re talking about a man with a decorative rock business, claiming to have severe dementia, running Uruguayan and South American soccer. And he got a U.S. passport. Maybe we shouldn’t be talking about FIFA scandals. Maybe this discussion needs to be about the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the mid-2000s.