Fox Sports Bribed Officials, Says Prosecution Witness In FIFA Trial

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A prosecution witness in the US corruption trial of three former soccer officials testified on Tuesday that Fox Sports, Mexico's Grupo Televisa and Brazil's Globo paid bribes to secure television rights for soccer matches.

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.

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

Fox Sports' parent company, 21st Century Fox, did not immediately respond to a request to comment.

They are Jose Maria Marin, ex-head of Brazil's Football Confederation, former FIFA vice president Juan Angel Napout, who was elected president of CONMEBOL in 2014, and Manuel Burga, who led soccer in Peru until 2014.

The three of them would have received around 600,000 a year in bribes, he said.

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Burzaco was asked to point out the three defendants in the courtroom while testifying that he had bribed all of them.

Qatar's victory, announced in December 2010 after four rounds of knockout voting by Fifa's 22-person executive committee in Zurich, has been plagued with allegations of bribery and misconduct.

A month later, Grondona received 1 million from Teixeira for voting for Qatar, Burzaco said. At another, Burga "told me he was happy collecting the bribes", he said.

On the stand, Burzaco said a company he helped control, T&T, routinely paid bribes to soccer officials in exchange for rights to the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana, two popular club team tournaments held in South America every year.

A former marketing executive has testified that Fox Sports partnered with his firm to pay bribes to soccer officials to secure broadcasting rights to major soccer tournaments.

Additionally, according to Burzaco, the chief executive of Fox Panamerican Sports, James Ganley, signed a fraudulent contract in January 2008 that allowed T&T to pay $3.7 million in bribes to multiple soccer officials in exchange for a rights contract extension signed soon thereafter.

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