Ex-Brazil FA head handed prison sentence for corruption | News | DW | 22.08.2018
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Ex-Brazil FA head handed prison sentence for corruption

Jose Maria Marin, the former head of Brazil's football federation, has received a four-year prison sentence after being convicted on corruption charges. He was implicated in a bribery scandal at FIFA.

The former president of Brazil's football federation (CBF), Jose Maria Marin, was sentenced to four years in prison on Wednesday after being found guilty on corruption charges related to a FIFA bribery scandal.

Marin, 86, was convicted in December by a federal jury on six conspiracy charges, including racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering in connection with his participation in a scheme to accept bribes in exchange for the media and marketing rights to various soccer tournaments.

He was sentenced by US District Judge Pamela Chen at a federal court in Brooklyn, New York. He was also ordered to forfeit $3.3 million (€2.8 million) and pay a $1.2 million fine, according to the office of the US Attorney for the East District of New York.

"His crime was one of pure, unmitigated and unchecked greed," Judge Chen said, describing Marin as a rich man who could have easily said no to receiving bribes. She added she wanted "to send a message of deterrence" in her sentence.

'A man with no future'

"I regret if any person or entity has been harmed by my actions," Marin said at the sentencing hearing, adding that football had been his great love, but now it was his downfall. "I am a man with no future. My main worry is my wife."

The government had asked for a 10 year prison sentence, while the defense had sought the approximately 13 months he has already served, citing Marin's advanced age and poor health.

"Marin, like his co-conspirators, sold out the sport he was meant to serve to satisfy his own greed," US Attorney Richard Donoghue said in a statement. "Today's sentence shows that for all their power and prestige, the soccer officials who corrupted 'the beautiful game' are not above the law."

Marin was arrested in 2015 in the wake of a corruption scandal relating to FIFA, world football's governing body. More than 42 people and entities were charged in the US in connection with an investigation that uncovered hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks, 26 of whom have pleaded guilty.

Juan Angel Napout of Paraguay, a former head of South America's soccer confederation (CONMEBOL), was a co-defendant at Marin's trial and was also convicted. His sentencing is set to take place on August 29, according to court records.

Manuel Burga, a former president of Peru's football federation (PFF) and the third defendant at the trial, was acquitted.

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dv/rc (AP, dpa, Reuters)

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