The investigation into corruption at FIFA has heard how a senior official took bribes of at least $1 million in return for voting for Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup, UK national daily The Guardian reported.
It is claimed that Senior Vice President at FIFA and head of the Argentinian football association until he died in 2014, Julio Grondona, told witness, Argentinian sports marketing executive, Alejandro Burzaco, he was owed the money by way of payment for his vote, which helped Qatar secure the 2022 tournament.
The claims are some of the strongest evidence supporting allegations that the 2022 vote was corrupt, since Qatar won the vote, the hearing in a New York City court heard on Tuesday.
Former CEO of the Argentinian sports marketing executive Torneos y Competencias, Burzaco, has admitted paying millions of dollars in bribes to senior South American football officials for the broadcast rights of major regional tournaments.
On Tuesday he gave testimony claiming a sustained program of bribes – often in excess of $1 million – both annual and one-off, over a 10-year period.
He said he accepted a bribe for his World Cup vote. He said he also secured $15 million in bribes for various parties to secure the Copa America, the hearing heard.
Burzaco said that as voting was under way for the 2022 tournament, Nicolás Leoz, the then Conmebol president, who had taken bribes, had voted for Japan and South Korea.
He said it was during a break that senior FIFA executive, Ricardo Teixeira and he took Leoz to one side “to shake him up” and ask “What the hell are you doing? Are you the one not voting for Qatar?”
On their return, Leoz complied with the conspiracy to vote for Qatar.
The officials deny their part in the claimed corruption which it is alleged carried on for 24 years and involved approximately $150 million in bribes, the hearing has heard.
The trial also heard that several major broadcasters were implicated in bribery claims for broadcasting rights.
The trial continues.
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