April 6 – On Sunday, Jose Maria Marin, 87, returned home to his native Brazil. The disgraced former football official spent five years detained overseas following his arrest and conviction in the FIFAgate scandal.
Last week the Brazilian won his release from an American prison, where he was serving a four-year sentence. American judge District Judge Pamela Chen in Brooklyn accepted a request from Marin’s lawyers for an early release, citing the coronavirus, his medical history and his advanced age.
Chen said Marin’s age, “significantly deteriorating health” and “elevated risk of dire health consequences due to the current COVID-19 outbreak,” influenced her decision.
The judge also considered his status as a nonviolent offender and the fact that Marin has served the majority of his four-year term. Marin left the prison in Allenwood, Pennsylvania, eventually Marin disembarquing at Viracopos International Airport in Campinas in the state of Sao Paulo.
The former supremo of Brazilian football was one of the original ‘Zurich Seven’, arrested in May 2015 and swept up in the FIFAgate corruption scandal. Marin spent five months in detention in Switzerland before his extradition to the United States, where he was sentenced last year.
The New York court had found him guilty of accepting nearly $6.6 million in bribes from sports marketing companies in exchange for contracts to broadcast major tournaments. He was also ordered to forfeit $3.3 million and pay a $1.2 million fine. In 2019, FIFA belatedly slapped him with a lifetime ban from the game and a fine of CHF 1 million.
Marin led the Brazilian Football Confederation for three years, from 2012 to 2015. He succeeded another disgraced Brazilian football official and CBF supremo, Ricardo Teixeira.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kent, at moc.l1596853609labto1596853609ofdlr1596853609owedi1596853609sni@o1596853609fni1596853609