- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 16, 2015

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Venezuela’s longtime soccer chief is fighting his extradition to the U.S. from Switzerland and asking to be judged in his home country on charges of corruption at soccer’s governing body.

Lawyers for Rafael Esquivel told Venezuelan newspaper El Universal Wednesday that they’ve asked prosecutors to request his extradition.

Esquivel was arrested in May in Zurich as part of the U.S. and Swiss investigations into corruption at FIFA. In seeking his extradition to Venezuela his lawyers may be betting that the 69-year-old could benefit from his political connections in the socialist administration of President Nicolas Maduro or receive a more lenient punishment such as home arrest if he pleads guilty.

Venezuela’s soccer federation, which Esquivel led since 1988 until the time of his arrest, declined to comment.

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