Deliberations to resume on FIFA scandals over hosting rights to the World Cup
Jurors at the New York trial of three former South American soccer officials accused of taking millions of dollars in bribes have gone home for the day without reaching a verdict.
Jurors on Wednesday completed their fourth day of deliberations in the corruption case against Juan Angel Napout, of Paraguay; Manuel Burga, of Peru; and Jose Maria Marin, of Brazil. The ex-soccer officials have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges stemming from the investigation of FIFA soccer's governing body.
The jury heard former marketing executives cooperating with prosecutors testify how they bribed the defendants and other soccer officials to buy their influence in awarding commercial and hosting rights to the World Cup and other tournaments.
Defense lawyers concede there is corruption in international soccer but say their clients were not among the culprits.
Prior to this, the former president of Colombia’s soccer federation testified that a sports marketing executive told him up to $15 million in bribe money was available for South American officials from Qatari interests ahead of the FIFA executive committee vote to decide the site of the 2022 World Cup.
He said the presidents of the governing bodies of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela banded together to award commercial rights to the 2015 Copa America to Full Play rather than rival Traffic Group, which held them from 1987-2011.
Deliberations are to resume Thursday.