The governing body of the South America’s football confederation announced that FIFA vice-president Juan Angel Napout has resigned as president of CONMEBOL.
According to a statement of CONMEBOL posted on Friday night, Juan Angel Napout has resigned from his position, which is why the congress is scheduled to assemble on January 26th, 2016 in order to elect new officers, including president and vice-presidents. The governing body also announced that the presidency is to be exercised by Wilmar Valdez until the date of the congress meeting.
Interim Valdez was present on the Friday’s meeting, too. He is to also head the Uruguay federation over his tenure. He explained that the resignation of Napout was sent by e-mail through his Switzerland lawyers. Mr. Valdez also shared that the e-mail was confirmed, after which the resignation was accepted by the executive committee.
He, however, refused to comment on any questions related to legal issues about the leadership of CONMEBOL.
Last week, the 56-year-old Paraguayan got arrested in Zurich after an ongoing investigation due to allegations of corruption within FIFA. A 90-day ban was imposed to Napout by the ethics committee of the football’s world governing body. Now Napout is to face charges of bribery and racketeering in the US.
Napout is not the only one who faces such allegations. Afredo Hawit, who is also a vice-president in FIFA, has also arrested on suspicion of bribery after being said to have illegally accepted millions of dollars. Both of them are currently suspended from exercising any football-related activity.
This makes the last three presidents of CONMEBOL put under arrested due to corruption scandals – Paraguayan Napout and Nicolas Leoz and Uruguayan Eugenio Figueredo. Two other vice presidents – Venezuela’s Rafael Esquivel and Chile’s Sergio Jadue – are also currently being held on bribery charges. Both Sergio Jadue and Luis Bedoya resigned in November 2015 and pleaded guilty to the accusations of being part of racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy.
Napout got elected for president of the Football Association of Paraguay in August 2007. He served at the position for a period of seven years, after which he was appointed as president of the CONMEBOL, which he initially exercised as an interim. Then, in March 2015, he got elected for full-term presidency, which was to expire in 2019. He was named FIFA vice-president, too.
Juan Angel Napout and Alfredo Hawit were part of the 16 new official representatives who fell under accusations of conspiracy of corruption offences estimated on £130 million.