By Andrew Warshaw
December 15 – Brazilian FA president Marco Polo Del Nero’s charmed life as leader of the CBF looks to be close to coming to an end after the FIFA’s ethics committee today banned him, though not before global pressure mounted to un-ignorable levels even in Zurich.
With the trial of the three South American powerbrokers at the heart of the FIFA-gate scandal winding up in New York, one of the recurrent names in the prosecutor’s case and the defendants submissions has been that of Del Nero.
Even trial judge Pamela Chen made passing comment on how del Nero could still be running Brazilian football (he is one of those indicted by US authorities), suggesting he must have “friends in high places”.
Now those friends appeared to have deserted him.
Of the dozens of south, central and north American football officials and sports marketers charged in the corruption scandal, Del Nero’s name has come up constantly in the trial of his predecessor Jose Maria Marin.
Like Marin, Del Nero was in Zurich at the time of the original May 2015, spate of arrests but fled back to Brazil, which has no extradition treaty with the US. He was later indicted himself and has remained in Brazil ever since, maintaining his innocence despite the charges against him for racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering. Charges that involve Marin and amount to the soliciting and receiving of millions of dollars of bribes from sports marketing agents.
Marin’s defense lawyer, in his closing remarks yesterday, said Marin was a mere bit-part playerin the corruption schemes.
Marin “became (Brazilian FA) president by default,” Charles Stillman told jurors on the second day of closing arguments. “Del Nero ran the show.”
Del Nero – a former member of FIFA’s executive committee – has now been banned from all football activities for 90 days with the provision that the ban “may be extended for an additional period not exceeding 45 days.”
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