United States government witness in Federation Internationale de Football Association trial said Fox, Televisa paid bribes

Global Broadcasters Implicated in FIFA Corruption at Trial

Evidence presented in a corruption trial for soccer governing body Federation Internationale de Football Association suggests that an executive for Fox Sports (FOX, FOXA) signed a phony contract in 2008 to facilitate $3.7M in bribes to win rights to tournaments.

Alejandro Burzaco, formerly the controlling principal of sports marketing company Torneos y Competencias SA, made his accusations as a witness for the federal government, his attorney, Sean P. Casey of Walden Macht & Haran LLP, told Law360 on Tuesday.

Burzaco is testifying at a trial of three former soccer executives charged in a wide-ranging global probe of corruption in the sport.

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Burzaco has already pleaded guilty to racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies after he was indicted in 2015, and has since been assisting U.S. authorities.

Sky Sports's sister network was named among some of the world's biggest broadcasters during the trial of three officials from the game's governing body in Brooklyn, New York.

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

Burzaco, testifying at the trial of three former South American soccer officials in NY, said that Fox Sports, Globo (Brazil), Televisa (Mexico), Mediapro (Spain), Full Play (Argentina) and Traffic Group (Brazil) had been involved in the bribery.

A former investment banker at Citigroup Inc., Burzaco said he paid millions of dollars in bribes as the head of the sports TV production company, including to the three former South American officials on trial. Burzaco said that Fox, by paying the bribes, "gained leverage and rights to broadcast its signal to Argentina" and other parts of the world, per the AP. He is one of 23 people to have pleaded guilty already.

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