A former Guatemalan judge has become the first person to be sentenced in the United States’ bribery investigation into football’s governing body, FIFA.
Hector Trujillo, who had been general secretary of Guatemala’s soccer federation, was sentenced in New York to eight months in prison. He had pleaded guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy; admitting that he took payments from a marketing company in exchange for help securing World Cup media and marketing rights.
At least 42 people and entities have been charged in the US probe into the payment of more than $200 million to soccer officials, in exchange for marketing and broadcast rights ahead of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments.
Before being sentenced, 64-year-old Trujillo said he thought the payments were reward for his hard work and “common practice.”
While the US investigation is far from finished, Trujillo’s comments do indicate that little (or at least not enough) was being done within FIFA to prevent bribery. Any organisation has to examine its vulnerability to bribery and take informed, proactive steps to ensure it does all it can to prevent it.
Failure to do so can be immensely damaging.
Read our article: THE HUGE COSTS OF BRIBERY