Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Former FIFA execs given up to $5 million to award 2018 World Cup to Russia, prosecutors say

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In an indictment unsealed Monday, federal prosecutors in New York revealed new particulars about alleged bribes paid to former FIFA executives in alternate for votes to award the World Cup to Russia and Qatar.

Former FIFA government Jack Warner, of Trinidad and Tobago, obtained $5 million for his vote to award the 2018 World Cup to Russia, in accordance to the indictment, and former FIFA government and Guatemalan soccer federation president Rafael Salguero was supplied $1 million for his vote. The indictment doesn’t state whether or not Salguero obtained the cost.

Two different FIFA executives — Nicolás Leoz, former president of the South American soccer governing physique CONMEBOL, and former Brazilian soccer federation president Ricardo Teixeira — additionally obtained bribes of undisclosed quantities in alternate for his or her votes to give the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, in accordance to the indictment.

The bribes had been organized within the days main to a December 2010 assembly of FIFA executives in Zurich, the place international soccer executives voted on the places of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. The announcement that month of upcoming World Cups going to Russia and Qatar — significantly the latter, whose local weather would require the World Cup to be performed outdoors the summer time months for the primary time — instantly prompted hypothesis of corruption.

All 4 FIFA executives had been accused of crimes in prior indictments in a long-running investigation of corruption in international soccer overseen by the U.S. lawyer’s workplace for the Eastern District of New York, which has resulted in dozens of convictions of former FIFA executives since fees had been first introduced in May 2015. Warner, 77, has fought extradition for almost 5 years and nonetheless lives in Trinidad and Tobago. Salguero, 73, pleaded responsible to a number of fees in 2016. Leoz fought extradition from Paraguay till his loss of life final 12 months at 90. Teixeira, 72, continues to battle extradition from Brazil.


FIFA Vice President Jack Warner kicks a soccer ball round with some college students from First Avenue Public School throughout a FIFA website analysis at Frank Clair Stadium upfront of the World Cup Under-20 soccer match held subsequent summer time on Monday afternoon.

File Photo

Monday’s indictment included new fees towards two former executives with 21st Century Fox, Hernan Lopez and Carlos Martinez, who had been charged with wire fraud and cash laundering in reference to allegations that they paid bribes to CONMEBOL officers to win media, tv and advertising rights for a South American soccer match, the Copa Libertadores, in addition to different occasions.

“The charges unsealed today reflect this Office’s ongoing commitment to rooting out corruption at the highest levels of international soccer and at the businesses engaged in promoting and broadcasting the sport,” Richard Donoghue, U.S. lawyer for the Eastern District of New York, mentioned in a press release.

Attorneys for each former Fox executives denounced the costs in statements.


The emblem of FIFA is seen in entrance of its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland September 26, 2017.

Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

“It’s shocking that the government would bring such a thin case… Mr. Lopez can’t wait to defend himself at trial,” mentioned Matthew Umhofer, Lopez’s lawyer.

“I am certain that a jury will swiftly exonerate Carlos, as the charges against him are nothing more than stale fiction,” mentioned Steven McCool, Martinez’s lawyer.

21st Century Fox is now owned by the Walt Disney Company, whose company representatives didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.



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