Exec Says Fox Sports, Televisa Paid Bribes At FIFA Trial

Alejandro Burzaco center says media companies including Fox Sports paid bribes to secure television rights to soccer matches

Some of the world's largest broadcasters, including Fox Sports, were involved in bribe payments to Fifa officials in order to secure the broadcast rights to major South American football tournaments, a key witness in the investigation into corruption at football's governing body has told a federal court in New York City.

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

The former CEO of Argentine sports communication company Torneos, Burzaco pleaded guilty late past year to various charges of racketeering, money laundering, and fraud. Torneos y Competencias and Fox Sports, a unit of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc, jointly owned a sports marketing venture, T&T Sports Marketing Ltd.

When asked by a US attorney at the trial about Fox's motivation for buying the broadcast rights, Burzaco said, "Using the TV rights to expand its Fox signal in all of the Americas, from Argentina to the United States of America".

Ganley is named as a defendant in a 2016 civil lawsuit in a Florida federal court by Florida-based soccer network GolTV, which claims that Ganley and other Fox executives paid bribes for broadcast rights.

Fox Sports did not immediately return a request for comment.

Jose Maria Marin, 85, the former head of Brazil's federation and once on FIFA's organizing committee for the Olympics; Juan Angel Napout, 59, a Paraguayan and former FIFA official who was president of South American soccer's governing body; and Manuel Burga, 60, a Peruvian soccer official and former member of FIFA's development committee, are on trial, accused of taking bribes and kickbacks. Forty-two people and entities have been charged in the case, of which 23 have pleaded guilty and two have been sentenced.

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