U.S. prosecutors: FIFA execs took bribes for Russia, Qatar World Cup votes

Several FIFA executives received bribes for voting in favor of Russia and Qatar as respective hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, federal prosecutors alleged in an indictment unsealed Monday in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.

According to documents obtained by Ronald Blum of The Associated Press, the former vice president of FIFA and president of CONCACAF, Jack Warner, received approximately $5 million to vote for Russia's bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

Warner received more than two dozen separate money transfers from 10 shell companies, several of which were based in the U.S. and "performed work on behalf of the 2018 Russia World Cup bid," according to the documents.

Warner hasn't held office with FIFA since May 2011 after the organization's ethics committee provisionally suspended him and Mohammed bin Hammam for corruption allegations. FIFA announced Warner's resignation from all football-related posts in June 2011.

Additionally, prosecutors on Monday charged two former 21st Century Fox Inc. executives, Hernan Lopez and Carlos Martinez, for allegedly paying CONMEBOL officials to obtain information on the bidding for broadcasting rights from an unnamed co-conspirator.

ESPN held the United States' English-language broadcasting rights for the World Cup from 1994-2014, but FOX won a bid in 2011 to broadcast the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.

The indictment unsealed Monday also alleges that Rafael Salguero, a Guatemalan former member of the FIFA executive committee, was promised $1 million in exchange for a vote in support of Russia.

It is also alleged that Ricardo Teixeira, the former president of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), Nicolas Leoz, the late former South American football federation (CONMEBOL) president, and one unnamed individual all received bribes to vote in favor of Qatar as host of the 2022 World Cup.

In 2017, Alejandro Burzaco, the former head of Argentine marketing company Torneos y Competencias, testified that all three South American individuals on FIFA's 22-person executive committee took million-dollar bribes to support Qatar.

Qatari officials "strongly" denied allegations of wrongdoing on Tuesday.

"Despite years of false claims, evidence has never been produced to demonstrate that Qatar won the rights to host the (World Cup) unethically or by means that contravened FIFA's strict bidding rules," read a statement from Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy.

There have been 26 known guilty pleas since the initial indictments stemming from a massive corruption investigation were first announced in 2015. Late ex-CONCACAF general secretary Chuck Blazer was among those who pled guilty, while former CONMEBOL chief Juan Angel Napout and CBF president Jose Maria Marin were both convicted.

U.S. prosecutors: FIFA execs took bribes for Russia, Qatar World Cup votes
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