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Former FIFA official Juan Ángel Napout to be released from US prison and deported

NEW YORK (AP) – Juan Ángel Napout, the former president of football’s South American governing body, is to be released from a federal prison and deported after serving five-and-a-half years of his sentence.

Napout was convicted on December 22, 2017, of one count of racketeering conspiracy and two counts of wire fraud conspiracy, and he was taken into custody that day. He was sentenced to nine years in and has been held at a low-security federal prison in Miami.

His conviction was upheld in 2020 by the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals, and he had been scheduled for release on August 9, 2025.

Breon Peace, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, wrote in a letter Thursday to US District Judge Pamela K Chen that the 65-year-old is eligible for release to a residential re-entry centre on July 6.

Peace wrote that Napout is subject to being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and ICE “expects to take custody of Mr Napout upon his release … for the purpose of removing him from the country.”

“ICE has indicated it may also facilitate immediate self-removal, which would entail working with Mr Napout and his counsel to secure a flight out of the country and working with the Paraguayan consulate to prepare an emergency passport.”

Napout was banned for life by FIFA in 2019. He was president of the South American governing body CONMEBOL from August 2014 until December 2015, president of the Paraguayan Football Association from 2007 to 2014 and a member of FIFA’s executive committee. He was arrested in Zurich while attending FIFA meetings in December 2015.

Juan Ángel Napout, of Paraguay, arrives at federal court in the Brooklyn borough of New York on December 13, 2017. PHOTO: AP