Witness: Soccer officials agreed to accept $1M in bribes

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

NEW YORK (AP) The former president of Colombia’s soccer federation has testified that he and five other heads of South American governing bodies agreed to accept $1 million bribes to sign a marketing and broadcast rights contract in 2010 for future Copa Americas.

[ MORE: Toronto’s Greg Vanney wins MLS Coach of the Year ]

Luis Bedoya implicated Juan Angel Napout, the ex-president of Paraguay’s soccer federation, and Manuel Burga, the former head of Peru’s soccer federation. Napout, Burga and Jose Maria Marin, the former president of Brazil’s soccer federation, are on trial in federal court in New York for racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy.

Testifying Monday in Spanish through a translator, Bedoya said the contract with Full Play Group was signed during the 2010 FIFA Congress in South Africa. He said in conversations before that, Napout indicated he was concerned that he “not be exposed” and Burga said “he didn’t know how to receive money of this type.”

Bedoya said one of the owners of Full Play set up a “paper” company in Uruguay that benefited Bedoya.

Bedoya, a former member of FIFA’s executive committee, pleaded guilty in 2015 to racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy.