Days ago, already five years after the first accusation of corruption in football called ‘FIFA Gate’ – on which Amazon Prime Video published yesterday the first official teaser trailer of an original production that will be focused on the mater -, US prosecutors accused Argentine Hernan Lopez and Mexican Carlos Martinez, two former executives of Fox Networks Group Latin America, of paying bribes to get football matches broadcasting rights.
Fox executives were accused in Brooklyn Court on fraud and money laundering charges together with Hugo and Mariano Jinkis, from Full Play Group SA, a Uruguayan sports marketing company, and Gerard Romy, former co-CEO of the Spanish media company Imagina Media Audiovisual SL, who also has an extra charge: violation of the RICO Law, which focuses on tightness and organized crime. Each of the charges, if proved, means 20 years in prison.
According to the Argentine website Infobae, FIFA officials accepted bribes regarding the election of Russia and Qatar to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, respectively. Infobae also reports that, according to the accusation, López and Martínez worked with Full Play to bribe Conmebol officials in exchange for the rights to the events, including the Copa Libertadores.
According to the Argentine newspaper ‘La Nacion’, the FBI’s accusation towards former Fox officials reports that Martinez and Lopez, together with Hugo and Mariano Jinkis (Full Play) ‘agreed to pay, paid and facilitated the granting of annual bribes to some Senior Executives of Conmebol, such as Brazilian Jose Maria Marin and Paraguayan Juan Angel Napout, both convicted of the same file. In exchange, Conmebol had to ‘set the T&T company as the owner of the Copa Libertadores and other football events TV rights’.
Finally, as the ESPN website officially reported, Lopez, Martinez and Full Play became not guilty to crimes including wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy in a process leaded by District Judge Pamela Chen in Brooklyn. The two executives agreed to pay USD15 million each to remain free during a trial with the Brooklyn Federal Judge made over the phone due to Coronavirus.