US to disburse $92m to FIFA, CONMEBOL, CONCACAF in wake of corruption probe

US to disburse $92m to FIFA, CONMEBOL, CONCACAF in wake of corruption probe

Juan Ángel Napout of Paraguay, one of three defendants in the FIFA scandal on trial in Brooklyn, arrives at the Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn on Nov 15, 2017.
Juan Ángel Napout of Paraguay, one of three defendants in the FIFA scandal on trial in Brooklyn, arrives at the Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn on Nov 15, 2017.

NEW YORK: FIFA and other entities injured in the global football corruption scheme that exploded in 2015 are set to receive another $92 million in compensation, the US Department of Justice said Thursday.

US officials had said last year that FIFA, world football's governing body, would receive $201 million confiscated from corrupt administrators.

Last August saw $32.3 million remitted, and on Thursday the DOJ announced "a further distribution of approximately $92 million in compensation for losses suffered by FIFA, the world organizing body of soccer; CONCACAF, the confederation responsible for soccer governance in North and Central America, among other jurisdictions; CONMEBOL, the confederation responsible for soccer governance in South America; and various constituent national soccer federations."

The funds "were forfeited to the United States in the Eastern District of New York as part of the government's long-running investigation and prosecution of corruption in international soccer."

"It is gratifying to know assets seized from the criminals involved will be distributed to groups in need of the money, one specifically focused on educating and safeguarding football for women and girls," Assistant Director in Charge Michael J. Driscoll of the FBI's New York Field Office said.

"The silver lining is that some good will come from the rampant greed uncovered in this investigation."

Most of the cash comes from US legal actions in the wake of the "FIFAgate" scandal, which erupted in May 2015 with the dramatic arrest of seven world football executives in Zurich and led a few months later to the departure of Sepp Blatter, FIFA's president since 1998.

FIFA has since set up a "World Football Remission Fund" under the supervision of the FIFA foundation to use the money to help finance projects with positive community impact.

The cases prosecuted in the US centered on bribes and racketeering organized by football officials in South and Central America in exchange for the awarding of TV broadcasting rights for competitions, including the Copa America.

They resulted in the sentencing of Paraguayan Juan Angel Napout, a former president of CONMEBOL, to nine years in prison and Brazilian Jose Maria Marin, former head of the Brazilian Football Federation, to four years in prison.

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