Judge pushes ‘FIFA’ trial to end 2017 with more arrests on cards as probe ‘broadened’

FIFA shadows

August 4 – The federal judge overseeing the US-led corruption probe into FIFA and a raft of its former senior officials says the trial of the first eight defendants will probably now not start before September or October next year.

US District Judge Raymond Dearie said that federal prosecutors had originally sought an early 2017 trial date, but that given the amount of evidence still being processed, that was no longer realistic.

The trial would involve seven former soccer officials and one ex-marketing executive who are among the 42 individuals and entities so far charged with bribery and corruption that has rocked world football and is still ongoing. Those potentially in the dock next autumn include former FIFA powerbrokers Jose Maria Marin of Brazil, Juan Angel Napout of Paraguay, Eduardo Li of Costa Rica, and Julio Rocha of Nicaragua.

The potential trial date was announced as assistant U.S. Attorney Evan Norris disclosed that prosecutors expect to bring even more additional charges in the case. “Our ongoing investigation does continue,” Norris was quoted as saying. “It is quite active and quite broad.”

US prosecutors say the defendants were guilty of schemes involving more than $200 million in bribes and kickbacks, both sought and received for marketing and broadcast rights to a raft of tournaments and matches.

To date, 16 individuals and two sports marketing companies have pleaded guilty.

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