Global Broadcasters Implicated in FIFA Corruption at Trial

CONMEBOL delegate Roger Bello of Bolivia left talks with Boca Juniors goalkeeper Agustin Orion center and Alejandro Burzaco president of Torneos y Competencias during a Copa Libertadores soccer match between

A witness for USA prosecutors in the corruption trial of three former soccer officials testified on Tuesday that media companies including Fox Sports and Grupo Televisa paid bribes to secure media rights for soccer matches.

Prosecutors homed in on the activities of T&T, a sports marketing company that has, since 2002, been jointly owned by Torneos y Competencias and Fox Pan American Sports and held the rights to the tournament.

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.

Televisa spokesman Olmos Cruz Alejandro said the company could not comment without knowing more about the trial testimony.

Prosecutors also showed jurors a contract dated 2008 between T&T and a Turks and Caicos-based entity called Somerton Corp, providing for a $3.7 million payment to Somerton.

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Alejandro Burzaco is the witness who said the media companies-which also included Grupo Televisa SAB, Media Pro, Globo, Full Play Argentina and Traffic Group-had bribed Federation Internationale de Football Association for the soccer rights. Burzaco said that Fox, by paying the bribes, "gained leverage and rights to broadcast its signal to Argentina" and other parts of the world, per the AP.

"It's not a real contract, sir", Burzaco conceded as he told the court all the money had gone to pay off the officials.

Shares of Twenty First Century Fox were down 2.3 percent at $27.88 in afternoon NYSE trading.

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.

Prosecutors have said that the three men and other soccer officials took bribes from sports marketing companies in exchange for lucrative marketing and media rights to soccer tournaments. He is one of 23 people to have pleaded guilty already.

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