First convicted FIFA bigwig awaits US sentencing

The first bigwig convicted in the United States in the FIFA corruption scandal that disgraced world football awaited sentencing on Wednesday.

US prosecutors are seeking 10 years in prison and a $6.6-million fine for Jose Maria Marin, 86, the former president of the Brazilian football federation.

Marin was convicted of accepting bribes from sports marketing companies in exchange for contracts to broadcast major tournaments like the Copa America and the Copa Libertadores.

Citing his age and frail health, his defense attorneys are asking that he be sentenced to 13-months in prison.

US District Court Judge Pamela Chen was expected to announce her decision at 2.30pm (GMT).

Marin was one of the FIFA executives arrested in May 2015 at a luxury hotel in Zurich in a raid requested by the United States.

The US probe revealed the corrupt, ugly underbelly of world football and the lavish lifestyle of FIFA executives who traveled around in private planes and were treated like royalty as they arrived for conferences in places like the Bahamas or Mauritius.

The scandal rocked football around the world.

US prosecutors ultimately indicted 42 people and sports companies, accusing them of multiple crimes and of accepting more than $200-million in bribes.

Of the 42, three have since died. Of the rest, 22 pleaded guilty and two have already been sentenced by judge Chen.

Another 14 remain in their own countries, where they have been either tried by local courts, are fighting extradition or are still free.

Marin spent five months in a prison in Switzerland before being extradited to the US.

He posted bail of $15-million and spent two years under house arrest. He stayed in Trump Tower on 5th Avenue in New York. He ventured out only a few times a week, to go to mass.

Marin was imprisoned immediately after his conviction on December 22 on six counts of racketeering, money laundering and bank fraud.

During the trial, defense attorneys depicted Marin as an innocent, unsuspecting elderly man that Brazil’s football federation tapped out of the blue to fill the vacancy left by the sudden resignation of the powerful Ricardo Texeira.

These lawyers said Marin did nothing without the guidance of his right hand man, Marco Polo del Nero, with whom, according to prosecutors, he shared bribe payments.

Advertisting

Strike-off case pulls in judge

Judge Mushtak Parker is implicated in an application to strike off his former partners. He is also involved in the fight between the Western Cape high court’s judge president and his deputy

One strike and you’re out – registrar tells unions

A municipal workers’ union is the first to be sanctioned for not following the new rule when deciding whether to go on strike
Advertising

Press Releases

Dr Mathew Moyo’s journey to academic victory

The NWU's chief director for library and information services was appointed as a board member of the National Council for Library and Information Services.

UKZN pays tribute to Joseph Shabalala, Doctor of Music (honoris causa)

The university joins the global community in mourning the passing of legendary musician and founding member of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Dr Bhekizizwe Joseph Shabalala.

South Africa to be almost R 14-billion wealthier when SAB Zenzele BB-BBEE scheme winds down in April 2020

It’s the biggest BB-BEE FMCG payout in South Africa’s history, with a new scheme to be launched

UKZN vice-chancellor calls for perspective and creative engagement on the way forward

In addition to overcoming the deadlock between UKZN and students, a way must be found to reconcile the university's financial obligations and students' long-term needs.

Survey shows South Africans’ approval of president but not of political parties

According to the survey, 62% of South Africans think Cyril Ramaphosa is doing his job well, while 39% say no political party represents their views.

Andrew Makenete joins Africa Agri Tech as an event ambassador

Makenete has a wealth of experience in the agricultural sector

Is your company prepared for the coronavirus?

Companies should consider the direct and indirect impacts of the pandemic when evaluating whether they are prepared for the coronavirus, says ContinuitySA.

Explaining the distribution of pension funds

Section 37C of the Pension Funds Act puts the ultimate decision-making responsibility in trustees' hands, says Fedgroup.