Soccer Bribery Trial Nears End With Bid to Toss Case, No DefenseBy
The fate of three former South American soccer officials accused of taking millions of dollars in bribes will soon be in the hands of a jury after they declined to testify in their defense or call any witnesses.
Instead, they asked a federal judge in Brooklyn, New York, to dismiss the case on grounds that prosecutors never presented evidence that any money actually changed hands when sports-marketing agents allegedly paid bribes to win broadcasting rights to tournaments.
U.S. District Judge Pamela Chen said she’d rule after the jury reaches a verdict, while noting that there “certainly has been evidence about a conspiracy, an agreement to receive the money, and the jury could find that the conspiracy was proved."
The case is the first to go to trial in an international crackdown on FIFA, the governing body for soccer, that began with a predawn police raid at a luxury Zurich hotel in May 2015. In all, 42 people and entities have been charged by the U.S. and about two dozen have pleaded guilty.