Latin America & Caribbean

Fifa crisis: Paraguay ends immunity for Conmebol

The Conmebol headquarters in in Asuncion, Paraguay Image copyright AP
Image caption The Conmebol offices in Asuncion have enjoyed immunity for almost two decades

Paraguay is ending the diplomatic immunity of the headquarters for South America's Conmebol football association, the latest fallout from the corruption scandal engulfing Fifa.

The senate voted to strip the offices in the capital Asuncion of the status, which prevents it being raided.

It is expected to be signed into law by President Horacio Cartes.

Top Conmebol officials are among those indicted in a US investigation into football's world governing body Fifa.

Two former Conmebol presidents, Eugenio Figueredo and Nicolas Leoz, have both been charged with corruption.

In other developments:

  • The organisation's communications chief, Walter De Gregorio, has been sacked, apparently after making a joke about the crisis on Swiss television
  • Fifa has said the replacement for President Sepp Blatter will be appointed between December and February
  • Mr Blatter, who announced his resignation last week, has rejected calls from the European parliament to quit immediately
  • Interpol announced it had frozen the use of financial contributions from Fifa, which donated €20 million to the force in 2011

The Conmebol headquarters in Asuncion have enjoyed the legal status similar to that of foreign embassies since 1997.

"My greatest fear is that all the important documents may have disappeared by now," Hugo Rubin, the Congressman who drafted the new legislation told the BBC.

Mr Leoz had lobbied for diplomatic immunity, AP reports, boasting that only the Vatican enjoyed the same "immunity and total privileges''.

The Paraguayan national is now under house arrest, awaiting a decision on his extradition to the US.

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