Former FIFA vice president Juan Angel Napout (C) of Paraguay arrives November 13, 2017 at Brooklyn Federal Courthouse in New York. The FIFA corruption trial is to get underway with opening statements in New York two and a half years after US prosecutors unveiled the largest graft scandal in the history of world soccer. Forty-two officials and marketing executives, and three companies were indicted in an exhaustive 236-page complaint detailing 92 separate crimes and 15 corruption schemes to the tune of $200 million. / AFP PHOTO / Don EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Nov. 17, 2017: The trial of three former top South American football officials Jose Maria Marin, the former head of Brazil’s Football Confederation, Juan Ángel Napout, former FIFA vice-president and Manuel Braga, who led Peru’s soccer federation until 2014, continues in a Brooklyn, NY court today.
The former officials have been accused of taking millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for granting contracts for top South American tournaments, charges which they deny. On Thursday, Alejandro Burzaco, a former marketing executive from Argentina testified that he and his company arranged to pay 30 soccer officials about $160 million in bribes over the course of several years until his arrest in 2015. The 53-year-old witness said on cross-examination he knew when he joined the firm in 2004 that bribes were a cost of doing business when competing for lucrative broadcasting and hosting rights. Bruzaco is expected to conclude his testimony today, Friday, Nov. 17.
The news comes as an Argentine former football official took his own life on Tuesday just hours after he was accused of taking bribes. Jorge Delhon was accused of taking $2m (£1.5m) in payments in exchange for rights for broadcasting football games. The 52-year-old lawyer worked for Football for All, a government programme which held the rights to football broadcasts in Argentina.He was named during the current corruption trial under way in New York.
Who’s In The Next FIFA World Cup?
Thirty-two nations will compete at next summer’s World Cup finals in Russia.
From North and Central America and the Caribbean, it is Costa Rica, Mexico and Panama.
From South America they are: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay.
The Asian qualifiers are Iran, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Australia.
From Europe, hosts Russia and group winners Belgium, England, France, Germany, Iceland, Poland, Portugal, Serbia and Spain are joined by play-off victors Switzerland, Croatia, Sweden and Denmark.
Africa’s representatives are Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia. From North and Central America and the Caribbean, it is Costa Rica, Mexico and Panama.
The World Cup finals draw is on Friday, 1 December in Moscow at the State Kremlin Palace concert hall at 15:00 GMT.
West Indies To Face New Zealand
The West Indies’ cricket team will face New Zealand beginning next month in Wellington.
The Windies and the Kiwis will clash in a two-Test series that begins on December 1 with the second one being played at Hamilton from December 9. The two teams then take part in three ODIs and three T20Is with the tour concluding on January 3.
Chris Gayle Overlooked In Pakistan Super League Draft
West Indies’ superstar Chris Gayle, fresh from winning a defamation case in Australia, was stunningly overlooked in Sunday’s Pakistan Super League draft.
The 38-year-old Jamaican, one of the most sought-after names on the international T20 circuit, was one of 308 overseas players up for grabs but found no takers from among the six franchises, in perhaps the biggest surprise of the auction.
One franchise owner, who requested anonymity, told Wisden India that Gayle’s partial availability for the PSL coupled with his poor form in the last Indian Premier League, had made him an unattractive option.
Dwayne and Darren Bravo, however, both landed contracts for the third edition of the tournament slated for the first quarter of next year.