November 21 – Days after Mexican broadcaster Televisa was named in the New York corruption trial as paying bribes for World Cup rights, one of its senior executives, Adolfo Lagos Espinosa, was shot dead in Mexico City. It is unclear whether this was related to the courtroom revelation.
Espinosa was a corporate vice-president at Televisa who had joined in 2013 and headed the expansion of the company’s cable and telecoms division, as well as managing the development of the company’s pay-TV operations.
It is unknown whether he was involved in the TV rights acquisitions by the broadcaster and his name had not come up in the trial. He was not a figure active or known in international football circles. Espinosa was shot by a group of attackers who burst out of bushes as he was cycling near Teotihuacan, on the outskirts of Mexico City.
Last week Alejandro Burzaco, former CEO of Argentinian agency TyC, told the federal court in Brooklyn that media giants Globo, of Brazil, and Televisa, of Mexico, had combined to pay a $15 million bribe to FIFA finance committee chairman Julio Grondona to help them secure broadcast rights to the 2026 and 2030 World Cups. Grondona died in 2014.
Burzaco went into specific detail of meetings held to arrange bribes and his relationship with the defendants José Maria Marin (former president of the Brazilian federation), Juan Manuel Napout (former president of Conmebol and the Paraguayan federation) and Manuel Burga (former president of the Peruvian federation).
Televisa have denied knowledge of any bribes.
Burzaco also named Fox Sports, Globo (Brazil), MediaPro (Spain), Full Play (Argentina) and Traffic (Brazil) in various bribery allegations.
Last Tuesday Argentinian lawyer Jorge Alejandro Delhon, identified in court by Burzaco as having received bribes, committed suicide by jumping in front of a train in Buenos Aires.
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