An Argentine businessman has claimed multiple major media companies paid bribes in exchange for soccer TV rights as part of the larger Federation Internationale de Football Association corruption scandal.
Alejandro Burzaco, the former chief executive of sports-marketing company Torneos y Competencias SA, testified that companies he had partnered with, which also included Full Play Argentina and Traffic Group in Brazil, were involved in a bribery scam.
Burzaco, testifying at the trial of three former South American soccer officials in NY, said that Fox Sports, Globo (Brazil), Televisa (Mexico), Mediapro (Spain), Full Play (Argentina) and Traffic Group (Brazil) had been involved in the bribery.
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 gave the testimony during the first trial.
Globo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
"It's not a real contract, sir", Burzaco conceded as he told the court all the money had gone to pay off the officials.
According to the Associated Press, Burzaco alleged that the bribes were paid via fake contracts for rights to Copa America and other events.
As evidence of the scheme, prosecutors at the trial at a federal court in New York City produced a 2008 agreement for the partnership to pay $3.7 million to a holding company in Turks and Caicos that was a conduit for the bribes.
Ganley is named as a defendant in a 2016 civil lawsuit in a Florida federal court by Florida-based soccer network GolTV, which claims that Ganley and other Fox executives paid bribes for broadcast rights.
The three soccer officials on trial in Brooklyn are Juan Ángel Napout, former president of the South American soccer governing body CONMEBOL and Paraguay's soccer federation; Manuel Burga, former president of Peru's soccer federation; and José Maria Marin, former president of Brazil's soccer federation. More than 40 other officials have pleaded guilty in hopes of receiving reduced sentences.