Ex-head of Salvadoran soccer federation given eight years in prison

Former president of El Salvador's soccer federation Reynaldo Vazquez is presented to the media after his arrest in San Salvador, El Salvador December 16, 2015. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas

SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) - The former president of El Salvador’s soccer federation, who is wanted in the United States for alleged corruption, was sentenced to eight years in Salvadoran prison for labour fraud, the country’s attorney general’s office said on Monday.

Reynaldo Vasquez, head of FESFUT between 2009 and 2010, was found guilty of improperly appropriating insurance discounts, provisions and union dues from 204 workers of a family-owned bed-manufacturing company between 2012 and 2014, the attorney general’s office said.

“It’s surprising; it is not based on law,” Vasquez said at the courthouse, referring to the sentence, which also forces him to pay $400,000 to resolve his civil liability.

His lawyer said he would file an appeal.

Vasquez has had an extradition order to the United States since 2015 for his connection to five cases of alleged bribery linked to commercial deals for the broadcasting of qualifiers for the 2014 and 2018 World Cups.

He is among 16 people who were indicted by U.S. prosecutors for participating in the multimillion dollar corruption scheme within soccer’s world governing body FIFA.

Reporting by Nelson Renteria; Writing by Natalie Schachar; Editing by Lisa Shumaker