Fox Sports Accused of Playing Role in Bribing Officials — FIFA Trial

Alejandro Burzaco center says media companies including Fox Sports paid bribes to secure television rights to soccer matches

Alejandro Burzaco center says media companies including Fox Sports paid bribes to secure television rights to soccer matches

Burzaco served as CEO of Torneos y Competencias SA, a South American sports-marketing company.

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 also said the former CEO of Fox Pan American Sports, James Ganley, signed a fake contract in March 2008 to cover up a $3.7 million bribe paid for soccer rights. He says he himself paid millions in bribes to the three officials on trial, among others.

According to Bloomberg, Burzaco said Fox Sports' objective in paying the bribes was, "using the TV rights to expand its Fox signal in all of the Americas from Argentina to the U.S.A".

Alejandro Burzaco Tuesday fingered Fox Sports, Media Pro, TV Global, Traffic, Full Play, and Televisa as he took the stand against ex-FIFA honchos Manuel Burga, Jose Maria Marin and Juan Angel Napout-saying he had personal knowledge of the grafts.

On Tuesday, three Argentine soccer officials went on trial in NY, facing allegations that they accepted millions of dollars in bribes over 24 years.

A spokesperson from FOX Sports did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Burzaco's testimony is part of a trial of several ex-soccer executives, who were charged as part of an worldwide investigation into corruption in global soccer.

The former officials, who have pleaded not guilty, are the first to face trial in the investigation.

Burzaco was asked to point out the three defendants in the courtroom while testifying that he bribed all of them. He described a series of meetings at hotels and restaurants in Buenos Aires starting in 2012 during which he helped forge deals for annual six-figure bribes for Marin, the former president of Brazil's soccer federation; Burga, the former president of Peru's soccer federation; and Napout, the former head of Paraguay's soccer federation. Grupo Clarin of Argentina was the lone network not to pay bribes, Burzaco said.