Time to swap the mini-bar for metal bars: the United States wants Switzerland to extradite the seven FIFA officials who were arrested in May’s raids at the five-star Baur au Lac hotel. And as anyone who’s tuned their televisions to MSNBC on the weekend in search of actual news on to find nothing but a series of bombastic shows about prisons could attest, American lock-ups don’t look like much fun.
Currently, the Guardian reports, the seven, including two FIFA vice-presidents, are being held in detention facilities around Zurich and are allowed only one visit a week and strictly no luxury gift bags from representatives of nations who’d like to host a World Cup. According to a Swiss justice department statement:
“The seven FIFA officials were arrested in Zurich on 27 May 2015 on the basis of a request from the USA, and detained pending extradition. On 1 July 2015, the US embassy in Berne submitted the formal extradition requests within the deadline laid down in the bilateral extradition treaty.
“The requests are based on the arrest warrants issued on 20 May 2015 by the United States attorney’s office for the eastern district of New York, which is investigating the high-ranking FIFA officers on suspicion of taking bribes worth over $100m.”
It seems reasonable to assume that these men won’t want to take a one-way trip across the Atlantic, especially if they’re going to be handcuffed and in economy class. So the process could take months before the country with the highest incarceration rate in the world may get to add a few more high-profile prisoners to its enormous collection.