Ex-Colombia star Viafara extradited to U.S. on drug warrant

Former Southampton and Colombia international footballer Jhon Viafara was extradited to the United States on a drug warrant on Thursday.

The 41-year-old was arrested last March after prosecutors in Texas said they believed he was part of a criminal network that shipped cocaine to the U.S.

The retired midfielder, who played for several Colombian teams and had spells with English rivals Portsmouth and Southampton, as well as Spain's Real Sociedad, was flown out of the country in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Viafara had been awaiting his extradition since September when the Colombian Supreme Court upheld a request from U.S. authorities.

Viafara, 40, who was part of the country's 2004 and 2007 Copa America squads, faces charges of attempts to "make and distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine with the intention, knowledge and having reasonable cause to believe that the cocaine will be imported illegally to the United States."

Viafara, who retired in 2015, is not the only former player to face drug charges as earlier this year, former Colombia international Diego Leon Osorio was convicted for distributing narcotics.