FIFA Corruption Trial Begins

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(WFI) The only three defendants in the FIFA corruption scandal who have pleaded not guilty are finally getting their day in court.
Jose Maria Marin (Wikipedia)

Former Brazil soccer federation president Jose Maria Marin, former Peru soccer federation boss Manuel Burga and Juan Angel Napout, the former president of both the Paraguay soccer federation and CONMEBOL, South American soccer’s governing body, are all on trial in New York Federal Court on bribery charges tied to the sale of media and marketing rights to international tournaments run by CONMEBOL.

Jury selection is scheduled for this week with media reports saying opening statements are expected to commence next week in a trial that could last months. 

It’s been almost two and a half years since the U.S. Justice Department announced the probe into the case.

Twenty-four of the 42 people and entities charged have pleaded guilty, including Jeffrey Webb, a former FIFA vice president and president of CONCACAF, the governing body for soccer in North and Central America and the Caribbean.

The first sentences involving the plea deals were handed down late last month in New York. Webb aide Costas Takkas, who had already served 10 months, was sentenced to 15. Hector Trujillo, a former secretary general of the soccer federation in Guatemala, received eight months despite prosecutors asking for a sentence of between 41 and 51 months.

The three defendants who have entered a not guilty plea could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison if convicted, according to AFP.

The remaining 15 people charged in the case are either facing similar charges in the home countries or are fighting extradition to the United States.

Homepage photo: Getty Images

By INSIDER Gerard Farek

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