U.S. asks Honduras to extradite ex-president over alleged FIFA ties

TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - The United States government has made a formal extradition request to Honduras for the country's former President Rafael Callejas over his suspected links to the FIFA corruption scandal, the Honduran government said on Thursday. It said in a brief statement it had received the extradition request for Callejas, who was named on Thursday in a U.S. indictment over alleged multi-million dollar bribery schemes for marketing and broadcast rights. The Central American government will also freeze bank accounts belonging to Callejas as well as those belonging to fellow Honduran Alfredo Hawit, acting president of CONCACAF, following a request to do so by the U.S. Department of Justice. CONCACAF is the football federation that includes countries in North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Hawit's arrest was announced earlier on Thursday in Zurich. Callejas, who later served as head of the Honduran soccer federation, told a news conference he bore no responsibility for any of the accusations, adding that he was ready to defend himself against the charges. (Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; Editing by Paul Tait)