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USA government witness in Federation Internationale de Football Association trial said Fox, Televisa paid bribes
15 November 2017, 10:03 | Elsie Buchanan
Fox Sports has been accused of paying bribes
A government witness in the Federation Internationale de Football Association corruption trial said Fox Sports and several other broadcast networks paid bribes to Federation Internationale de Football Association for soccer broadcasting rights, according to Ken Bensinger of BuzzFeed.
The FIFA corruption trial began Monday, two and a half years after the United States unveiled the largest graft scandal in the history of world soccer.
Full Play (Argentina) and Traffic Group (Brazil) were also involved in bribery for media rights, according to Alejandro Burzaco, former CEO of sports marketing company Torneos y Competencias and a convicted government witness, Bloomberg News reported . This included Fox Sports, partnered with Burzaco in the T&T sports marketing company, which owned the rights to the Copa Libertadores.
The companies, which were not charged by US prosecutors in the case, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
They are Jose Maria Marin, ex-head of Brazil's Football Confederation, former FIFA vice president Juan Angel Napout, who was elected president of CONMEBOL in 2014, and Manuel Burga, who led soccer in Peru until 2014. Fox had a 75% stake in T&T at the time many of those bribes were signed. The marketing executive said Grondona personally approved the bribes he and five other senior Conmebol officials were paid for regional tournament rights, often dictating the amounts - frequently seven-figure sums - and taking cuts for himself.
They were whisked around by private jet, with "three or four Mercedes" parked on the tarmac ready and waiting on arrival at CONMEBOL headquarters. Fox Sports spokeswoman Terri Hines said the company had no immediate comment.
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 others paid bribes for broadcast rights.
Burzaco's testimony, which is expected to continue into Wednesday, also implicated the three former football executives, José Maria Marin, Manuel Burga and Juan Ángel Napout, now on trial. They asked: 'What are you doing?
Burzaco was asked to point out the three defendants in the courtroom while testifying that he bribed all of them.
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Alejandro Burzaco, former CEO of the firm based in Argentina, testified that Fox and other broadcasters were involved in a scheme to pay bribes - concealed using offshore side entities and sham contracts - that secured rights for the Copa America and other events. At another, Burga "told me he was happy collecting the bribes", Burzaco said. "Are you the one not voting for Qatar?'" he quoted them as saying.
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