FIFA Gate: the trial for the millionaire bribery scandal in football began in New York

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The prosecution has already indicted 45 individuals and companies for more than 90 crimes involving more than $200 million

FIFA Gate: the trial for the million-dollar bribery scandal in soccer began in New York soccer

The trial for the soccer bribery scandal known as FIFA Gate began in New York

The The mega-scandal over bribery in football, known as FIFA Gate, finally brought two former executives of the US company to trial on Tuesday. b>Fox and the Argentine agency Full Play.

In the trial that began in New York, the indicated must answer before the Justice for the charges of corruption, fraud banking and laundering of b> money.

FIFA Gate: the trial for the scandal of millionaire bribes in soccer began in New York

The defendants at the beginning of the trial ( Elizabeth Williams via AP)

Specifically, they are the Mexican Carlos Martínez and the Argentine Hernán López< /b>-both also US nationals-, who worked at 21st Century Fox and the Argentine sports marketing agency, appearing before Judge Pamela Chen. The trial will last between four and six weeks and takes place in the Brooklyn court where other defendants have already been tried since the controversy broke out in 2015.

This Tuesday, in the allegations, Victor Zapana on behalf of the prosecution denounced that “this system of bribery lasted for yearsthrough generations of leaders because money corrupts.”

FIFA Gate: the trial for the million-dollar bribery scandal in football

Hernan Lopez this Tuesday in court in Brooklyn, New York (AP)

The accusation presented in this case maintains that the three sitting on the bench participated in a scheme to pay bribes to Latin American soccer executives -particularly from Conmebol– to in order to secure lucrative rights to broadcast the Copa Libertadores and Copa América matches. Also included were qualifying matches and friendlies for the World Cup.

In this scheme, they dedicated “millions of dollars in bribes” that circulated through “the world's banks,” Zapana continued, ruling that “everyone won, except the sport of soccer”.

< p>FIFA Gate: the trial for the millionaire bribery scandal in soccer began in New York

The bribes included the rights to broadcast matches of the Copa Libertadores, the Copa América and the friendlies of the 2018 World Cup in Russia (Getty Images)

For its part, from Full Play, the defense blamed the executives of the South American soccer associations, whom he accused of “systematically demanding payments”.

Another of the names implicated in the case is the Spanish Gerard Romy , who was president of the sports company Imagina. Until now, he has not been called to appear before the US Justice, although it is a matter of time until his turn comes.

The FIFA Gate controversy

The scandal known as FIFA Gate first came to light in May 2015 in the United States Unitedand exposed a scheme of irregular millionaire payments by sports marketing companies to Latin American soccer leaders. In exchange, the rights to television broadcasts and promotion in tournaments were granted.

The case, which since then has been under investigation by the Justice, has already accused 45 people and several sports companies for more than 90 crimes. In addition, it is presumed that these operations involved more than 200 million dollars.

In addition, 27 of these people have declared themselves guilty -four of them have died- and half a dozen have already been sentenced.

FIFA Gate: the trial for the scandal of millionaire bribes in soccer began in New York

The former director of CONMEBOL, the Paraguayan Juan Ángel Napout, was convicted and imprisoned (EFE)

On the other hand, three pleaded not guilty, so they went to a trial considered historic in New York at the end of 2017. They are the former boss of Brazilian soccer, José Marin; his counterpart from Paraguay and Conmebol, Juan Ángel Napout; and former Peruvian soccer boss Manuel Burga.

The former were found guilty and imprisoned while the latter was acquitted.

Meanwhile, in September last Former president of the Salvadoran Soccer Federation, Reynaldo Vásquez, was sentenced to 16 months in jail for accepting tens of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for the television rights of the Salvadoran National Team country.

FIFA Gate: the trial for the scandal of millionaire bribes in soccer began in New York

Reynaldo Vásquez was sentenced to 16 months in prison for accepting these bribes (REUTERS)

According to the Brooklyn court, Vásquez, along with other soccer officials in El Salvador, received USD 350,000 from an American company in exchange for the sale of the broadcast rights to the qualifying and friendly matches of the national team for the World Cup that took place in Russia in < b>2018.

As for the rest of those involved in the scheme, a dozen are still in their countries, where they were prosecuted by the local Justice, or are at liberty while fighting extradition.

Finally, four companies pleaded guilty , while two reached deferred prosecution agreements and another pair paid appropriate fines.< /p>

(With information from AFP)

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