Fifa’s World Cup debacle isn’t just about money – there’s horror and death too | Barney Ronay

It is tempting to call Fifa’s corruption debacle a gift that just keeps on giving. Except it feels like something else by now, a gift that has, frankly, given too muchAre you feeling it yet? The Fifa corruption fatigue? It has, after all, been seven years in the making, from the oddly homespun excesses of the whistleblower Chuck Blazer, football’s own mobility scooter Liberace; to the cold, gangsterish disdain of the Grondona-Teixeira-Leoz axis, the kind of Fifa men who would carve out your liver with an ivory-inlaid oyster knife if it meant getting a step closer to a secret six-figure TV rights access sweetener. This week the US justice department court case sparked into life in New York. Its first few days provided such a vivid dose of toxic colour it is tempting to call Fifa’s continuing corruption debacle a gift that just keeps on giving. Except it fees Continue reading "Fifa’s World Cup debacle isn’t just about money – there’s horror and death too | Barney Ronay"

Fifa trial: defendant accused of witness intimidation after official’s suicide

Shortly after former Argentinian football official killed himself amid bribery allegations, prosecutors say Manuel Burga made throat-slicing gesture at witness A defendant in the Fifa corruption trial was accused of intimidating a key government witness, just hours after a former Argentinian football official killed himself following an accusation in court on Tuesday that he had taken millions in bribes. Plunging the US trial of three former Fifa officials deeper into controversy, federal prosecutors on Wednesday accused Manuel Burga, the former head of Peru’s football association, of making a “slicing motion across his throat” directed at Alejandro Burzaco, a former sports marketing executive who has confessed to paying tens of millions of dollars in bribes to senior Fifa officials. Continue reading...

Fifa official took bribes to back Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid, court hears

Julio Grondona, who died in 2014, told witness Alejandro Burzaco he was owed money for vote, Burzaco testifies amid corruption investigation A senior Fifa official took at least $1m in bribes to vote for Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup, a witness testified in court on Tuesday, as part of a broad investigation into corruption at Fifa. Julio Grondona, a senior vice-president at Fifa and head of the Argentinian football association until his death in 2014, allegedly told the witness, Alejandro Burzaco, an Argentinian sports marketing executive, that he was owed the money in exchange for his vote, which helped Qatar secure the lucrative tournament. Continue reading...

Fox and other top broadcasters involved in Fifa bribe scheme, witness tells court

Media companies bribed Fifa officials for rights to show South American tournaments, says former CEO of Argentina sports marketing company Some of the world’s largest broadcasters, including Fox Sports, were involved in bribe payments to Fifa officials in order to secure the broadcast rights to major South American football tournaments, a key witness in the investigation into corruption at football’s governing body has told a federal court in New York City. Alejandro Burzaco, the former CEO of Torneos y Competencias, a major sports marketing company based in Argentina, testified that five other companies he had partnered with, including Brazilian network Globo and the Mexican network Grupo Televisa, had bribed Fifa officials during his tenure. Continue reading...

Fifa corruption trial hears allegations officials took millions in bribes

  • South American officials face prison time if found guilty in US court
  • Defendants deny counts of racketeering and wire fraud
  • New York court told of importance of football around the world
Inside a packed New York City courtroom, and under heightened security on Monday, US prosecutors accused three former South American football administrators of taking millions of dollars in bribes as part of a web of endemic corruption at the heart of the sport’s governing body, Fifa.  José Maria Marin, the 85-year-old former head of Brazil’s football federation, Juan Ángel Napout, the 59-year-old Paraguayan who was president of South American football’s governing body Conmebol, and Manuel Burga the 60-year-old former president of the Peruvian football federation, have denied multiple counts of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering.  Continue reading...