The Latest: Mexican TV network denies claims in FIFA case
NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. trial of three South American soccer officials accused of corruption in the FIFA scandal (all times local):
A Mexican television network has denied accusations it teamed with a marketing firm to make a $15 million bribe to an executive at soccer’s governing body to help them secure lucrative broadcasting rights to the World Cup in 2026 and 2030.
Grupo Televisa says it in no way knew of or condoned any bribe or other improper conduct. It denies any wrongdoing in regard to corruption allegations against three FIFA (FEE’-fuh) executives.
A former sports marketing executive from Argentina testifying in New York on Wednesday said Televisa and Brazilian company Globo contributed to the $15 million bribe. The testimony came on the third day of the U.S. trial of three South American soccer officials accused in a sprawling corruption investigation.
Globo also has denied wrongdoing.
A New York judge has tightened the bail conditions of a former South American soccer official accused of taking bribes in exchange for his help securing broadcasting and hosting rights for tournaments.
Prosecutors say Manuel Burga intimidated a witness at his trial. They say Burga motioned across his neck in a slashing motion Tuesday and Wednesday while looking at Argentine former sports marketing executive and witness Alejandro Burzaco.
They say Burzaco was visibly shaken after testifying Wednesday, the third day of the trial in a sprawling corruption investigation of soccer’s governing body, FIFA (FEE’-fuh).
Burga’s lawyer says he was scratching or rubbing his throat, not threatening anyone.
Burga is staying at a home in Brooklyn and has GSP monitoring. He’ll be under house arrest with no access to phones or computers.
A former sports marketing executive from Argentina testifying in New York says media giants Televisa and Globo contributed to a $15 million bribe to land the broadcasting rights for the soccer World Cup in 2026 and 2030.
Alejandro Burzaco said Wednesday that FIFA (FEE’-fuh) executive Julio Grondona took the bribe in exchange for helping to steer the lucrative rights to the two media companies. The testimony came on the third day of the U.S. trial of three South American soccer officials accused in a sprawling corruption investigation of FIFA, soccer’s governing body.
Jose Maria Marin, Manuel Burga and Juan Angel Napout have pleaded not guilty to charges they took part in a 24-year scheme involving at least $150 million in bribes that secured broadcasting and hosting rights for soccer tournaments worldwide.
Brazil’s Globo has denied wrongdoing. Mexico’s Televisa hasn’t commented.
Grondona was head of the Argentine football association until his death in 2014.
A key witness at a U.S. criminal trial has testified that a powerful soccer official took bribes to vote for Qatar to host the World Cup in 2022.
Former marketing executive Alejandro Burzaco testified on Tuesday that Julio Grondona, of Argentina, demanded $1 million to help cover what he was owed for his 2010 vote that helped Qatar land the tournament.
Burzaco also described an angry behind-the-scenes confrontation between Grondona and Qatari soccer officials at a 2011 meeting of FIFA (FEE’-fuh), soccer’s governing body. He said Grondona told them he should be getting $80 million.
The testimony came at the trial of three South American soccer officials accused of bribery. Bruzaco was to return to the witness stand on Wednesday.