FIFA bribery scandals: former Swiss banker pleads guilty to offences

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

Further to Jonathan Copping’s post of 11 June 2017, former Swiss banker, Jorge Luis Arzuaga, is the latest to plead guilty following the ongoing US investigations into the FIFA corruption scandals.

On 15 June 2017, Arzuaga admitted, before a US Federal Court in Brooklyn, New York, using shell companies to open bank accounts in Switzerland for the former President of the Football Association of Argentina and former Chairman of FIFA’s Finance Committee, Julio Grondona, who has since died, and channel up to US$ 25 million in bribes for him and other senior FIFA officials from a TV rights marketing company, Torneos, based in Argentina.

Arzuaga also admitted being paid for facilitating this corruption, which was aimed at helping Torneos to acquire lucrative football TV and marketing rights in South American tournaments, the sum of US$ 1.046 million, which he has agreed to forfeit to the Authorities.

The Office of the Swiss Attorney General (OAG) has stated that it has also concluded criminal proceedings against Arzuaga for the offences of document forgery and failure to report money laundering, which he committed in Switzerland, and that the sum of US$ 650,000, which he had been paid for these actions, will be forfeited to the Swiss Government.

So, one by one, the miscreants in the FIFA corruption scandals are being brought to book for their misdeeds, which have and continue to cast a long shadow over ‘the beautiful game’!

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘ian.blackshaw@orange.fr’