FILE PHOTO: Former president of El Salvador’s soccer federation Reynaldo Vazquez is introduced to the media after his arrest in San Salvador, El Salvador December 16, 2015. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas
August 23, 2021
By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The previous president of El Salvador’s soccer federation pleaded responsible on Monday to a racketeering conspiracy cost arising from a world soccer corruption probe involving the cost of bribes to stage and broadcast matches.
Reynaldo Vasquez, 65, the previous president of the Federacion Salvadorena de Futbol (FESFUT), or the Salvadoran Soccer Federation, entered his plea by way of a translator earlier than U.S. District Decide Pamela Chen in Brooklyn.
Vasquez acknowledged receiving $350,000 in 2012 from Miami-based Media World, which brokers rights to broadcasts focusing on Spanish audio system, to induce FESFUT to rearrange media and advertising and marketing rights to qualifier matches for the World Cup.
He stated a few of it was forwarded to a co-conspirator at Media World, describing himself as a “conduit.”
Vasquez additionally admitted to being a part of a scheme, together with an alleged $10,000 bribe, to rearrange pleasant matches involving the lads’s nationwide soccer groups of El Salvador, Costa Rica and Guatemala.
“My participation within the bribery was fallacious,” Vasquez stated. “I’ve come to grasp that the best way issues have been executed for these transfers was certainly incorrect.”
Prosecutors stated Vasquez might face 33 to 41 months in jail underneath beneficial federal pointers, although Chen stated deportation “would seem a certainty at this level.”
Vasquez additionally agreed to a $360,000 forfeiture. He has lived underneath residence detention since being extradited in January from El Salvador, the place he had been serving an eight-year sentence for fraud.
The defendant’s sentencing is Dec. 16. His lawyer didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
Vasquez led FESFUT in 2009 and 2010.
FIFA, soccer’s world governing physique, banned Vasquez for all times and fined him 500,000 Swiss francs in October 2019 after an inside ethics committee discovered him responsible of bribery.
Because the U.S. Division of Justice unveiled the corruption probe in 2015, greater than 40 defendants have been criminally charged, and greater than 30 have pleaded responsible.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; enhancing by Grant McCool)