FIFA Trial: Fox Sports Accused of Playing Role in Bribing Officials

Fox Sports holds the English-language U.S. broadcast rights to the 2018 2022 and 2026 men’s World Cups as well as other FIFA events. More

Fox Sports holds the English-language U.S. broadcast rights to the 2018 2022 and 2026 men’s World Cups as well as other FIFA events. More

The testimony came on the second day of the trial of three former South American soccer officials accused of taking bribes in a sprawling corruption investigation of Federation Internationale de Football Association, the sport's governing body.

Burzaco's testimony came at the NY trial of three former South American soccer officials, who are among the people who allegedly accepted the bribes. Burzaco, who pleaded guilty and is now cooperating with the US government, is the former CEO the Argentinian sports marketing firm Torneos y Competencias.

Fox Pan American Sports, part of 21st Century Fox, Brazil's TV Globo, Argentine group Full Play and Spain's MediaPro were among those who paid - all partners of Torneos y Competencias.

Fox, Televisa and Globo were not charged by USA prosecutors in the case.

The testimony came on the second day of the trial of Juan Ángel Napout, former president of the South American soccer governing body CONMEBOL and Paraguay's soccer federation; Manuel Burga, former president of Peru's soccer federation; and José Maria Marin, former president of Brazil's soccer federation.

The three of them would have received around 600,000 a year in bribes, he said.

Burzaco also testified Tuesday that he had personally bribed Burga, Marin, and Napout for a three- or five-year period, beginning in 2010. During a break, he and Teixeria then pulled Leoz aside to "shake him up" and ask: "What the hell are you doing?"

"They had presidential or diplomatic or royal treatment", Burzaco testified. "Are you the one not voting for Qatar?'" he quoted them as saying. At another, Burga "told me he was happy collecting the bribes", Burzaco said.

Ganley is named as a defendant in a 2016 civil lawsuit in a Florida federal court by Florida-based soccer network GolTV, which claims that Ganley and other Fox executives paid bribes for broadcast rights.

Prosecutors have said that the three men and other soccer officials took bribes from sports marketing companies in exchange for lucrative marketing and media rights to soccer tournaments.

On the stand, Burzaco said a company he helped control, T&T, routinely paid bribes to soccer officials in exchange for rights to the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana, two popular club team tournaments held in South America every year.

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