Current presidents of CONCACAF, CONMEBOL arrested in second wave of FIFA arrests

IMAGE, JUSTIVE.GOV

by CHRISTIAN ARAOS

Sixteen officials, including the current presidents of CONCACAF and CONMEBOL, were arrested on charges of racketeering, money laundering and fraud today as the Department of Justice continues its investigation into corruption within global football.

Alfredo Hawit of CONCACAF and Juan Ángel Napout of CONMEBOL each are the third consecutive presidents of their respective confederations to be implicated by the US Department of Justice. Both are accused of racketeering and bribery as part of a scheme in which soccer officials are alleged to have received more than $200 million in bribes and kickbacks from sports marketing companies for media and marketing rights for competitive matches.

In addition to the arrests of Hawit and Napout, officials from local federations in both Central and South America were indicted. They include former Panamanian FA president Ariel Alvarado, current Guatemala FA president Brayan Jiménez and the former president of Honduras Rafael Callejas who was also the former president of the Honduran FA.

All three individuals are active members in FIFA.

Former Guatemala FA president Rafael Salguero was also indicted. Salguero is the third of the three CONCACAF voters who voted on the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

In all, today’s unsealing ups the total of charged individuals and entities related to the FIFA scandal to 41.

The Justice Department also announced the guilty pleas of eight individuals including former CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb, CEO of Torneos y Competencias Alejandro Burazco and secretary general of Traffic Sports Brazil José Marguiles. The current president of the Colombian FA and FIFA Executive Committee member Luis Bedoya and former Chilean FA president Sergio Jadue also pleaded guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud charges.

“The Department of Justice is committed to ending the rampant corruption we have alleged amidst the leadership of international soccer – not only because of the scale of the schemes, or the brazenness and breadth of the operation required to sustain such corruption, but also because of the affront to international principles that this behavior represents,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch. “The message from this announcement should be clear to every culpable individual who remains in the shadows, hoping to evade our investigation: You will not wait us out.  You will not escape our focus.”

  • Don

    RUN, SUNIL! RUN LIKE THE WIND!

    • HydraHamster

      I agree. I don’t believe Sunil Gulati was blind to everything happening within FIFA and CONCACAF like he said he was nor do I believe that he did not have any helping hand in the bribery that went down in the USA when he is in charge of soccer in the USA.

  • Kevin

    What a mess.