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Law

Key Figure in FIFA Corruption Probe Faces No Further Charges

  • Alejandro Burzaco, who admitted to bribing FIFA and CONMEBOL officials for marketing rights, was sentenced to time served.
  • He made numerous claims to prosecutors, including that Qatar bribed FIFA to host the 2022 World Cup.
A view of the FIFA logo outside their headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.
FIFA

A central figure in a scandal undermining the integrity of global soccer governance won’t face further charges.

Alejandro Burzaco, the former head of Argentine sports marketing company Torneos y Competencias, was sentenced to time served after cooperating with prosecutors and pleading guilty in a sweeping corruption probe regarding soccer media rights.

He won’t face a fine either, though he previously forfeited $21.7 million.

Burzaco provided a window into the world of soccer media and hosting rights, which has been rife with accusations of corruption. He admitted to bribing officials at FIFA and some of its regional affiliates for marketing rights to the World Cup, Copa America, and other tournaments. 

By his account, he wasn’t alone. Burzaco said that Qatar bribed FIFA for 2022 World Cup hosting duties, an accusation echoed by other sources, such as those interviewed in the documentary “The Men Who Sold the World Cup.”

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In 2017, he testified to paying bribes to Juan Angel Napout, who helmed CONMEBOL, South America’s governing soccer body, from 2014 to 2015 before being arrested on corruption charges.

Burzaco also tagged soccer officials in Brazil and Peru — the former was convicted, while the latter was found not guilty. He also testified at the trial of former 21st Century Fox executives Hernan Lopez and Carlos Martinez, who were accused of handing out bribes in exchange for broadcasting rights. Lopez was convicted, but Martinez was acquitted.

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