Paraguay police search S. American football HQ

The Conmebol headquarters in Luque, Paraguay are pictured on January 7, 2016, during a raid as part of the framework of the FIFA corruption scandal (AFP Photo/Norberto Duarte) (AFP/File)

Asuncion (AFP) - Paraguayan police searched the headquarters of South American football's governing body CONMEBOL on Thursday as part of investigations into the corruption scandal rocking FIFA, state prosecutors said.

Paraguay's state prosecution service said in a statement it ordered the search on a request by the US Justice Department, which is investigating a vast bribery scandal at FIFA, football's world governing body.

Police and prosecution officials "are searching for documentation related to the granting of commercial and broadcast rights for sporting events," the statement said.

Witnesses said the current interim head of CONMEBOL, Wilmar Valdez, and the president of the Paraguayan football federation, Alejandro Dominguez, were in the building during the operation.

A lawyer for the confederation, Alfredo Montanaro, called the proceedings "irresponsible."

"It is very strange. We have been cooperating with the judicial authorities of the United States, Uruguay and Paraguay," he said on the radio.

CONMEBOL's headquarters near the Paraguayan capital Asuncion had diplomatic immunity from 1992 but that privilege was withdrawn last year after the scandal erupted.

US authorities last month indicted 16 Latin American football officials accused of accepting bribes in return for awarding contracts for tournament broadcast rights.

Paraguayan national Juan Angel Napout, the ex-president of CONMEBOL and a vice-president of FIFA, was extradited to the United States, where he pleaded not guilty.

The scandal over allegations of multimillion-dollar bribes has led to the suspension of numerous other top officials including Sepp Blatter, longtime president of FIFA.

CONMEBOL is the umbrella group for 10 South American football associations.

In 2013 it signed an allegedly graft-ridden TV rights contract with Argentine firm Datisa.

Of the 10 association presidents in office that year, just one has not been implicated in corruption by the FBI: Uruguay's Sebastian Bauza.