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

15 November 2017

An Argentine sports marketing executive testified that Fox Sports and Mexico's Grupo Televisa both paid bribes for soccer television rights, his attorney said, as the US government's Federation Internationale de Football Association corruption trial in NY federal court heated up further Tuesday.

Burzaco told the court the bribes came in the form of phony contracts, including one from 2008 that involved the Fox Sports/Torneos partnership paying $3.7 million to the recipients. They say it was signed by a former Fox executive.

Fox Sports, Televisa in Mexico and Globo Comunicacao and Participacoes SA in Brazil did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Burzaco said Fox Sports wanted to use "the TV rights to expand its Fox signal in all of the Americas, from Argentina to the U.S.". In a statement, Globo vehemently denied making bribes and said it was willing to cooperate with USA authorities.

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Burzaco also testified Tuesday that he had personally bribed Burga, Marin, and Napout for a three- or five-year period, beginning in 2010.

Burzaco's testimony is part of a trial of several ex-soccer executives, who were charged as part of an worldwide investigation into corruption in global soccer. He described a series of meetings at hotels and restaurants in Buenos Aires starting in 2012 during which he helped forge deals for annual six-figure bribes for Marin, the former president of Brazil's soccer federation; Burga, the former president of Peru's soccer federation; and Napout, the former head of Paraguay's soccer federation. After being charged in 2015, Burzaco testified that he briefly went into hiding before deciding to turn himself in and cooperate.

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