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February 22, 2019

Peru football chief Oviedo arrested in graft probe

Peru football chief Oviedo arrested in graft probe
'Peru's Football Federation chief Edwin Oviedo (C), pictured in 2015, was detained in an early morning raid on his home in Lima' - By: AFP/File NORBERTO DUARTE

Police arrested Peru's Football Federation chief Edwin Oviedo early Thursday on suspicion of involvement in a "corruption network" involving judges and businessmen, a prosecutor said.

Oviedo was detained in an early morning raid on his home in Lima, and other arrests were likely, said prosecutor Jorge Chavez, coordinator of Lima's organized crime unit.

"There is an order to search several homes," Chavez told Canal N television.

Oviedo, 47, is being held for a "preliminary" 10-day period.

Meanwhile, a court in Lima is expected to rule soon on a prosecution request to jail him for 24 months in a separate case in which he is accused of ordering the murders of two trade unionists at a sugar company he controlled.

Peru's national team has thrived during Oviedo's reign as federation chief, qualifying for the World Cup finals in Russia for the first time in 36 years under Argentine coach Ricardo Gareca.

Several Peruvian soccer officials had previously requested the controversial Oviedo "step aside" for as long as he remained under a legal cloud, but he refused.

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