April 6 – More than three years after being banned for life for his role in the FIFAgate scandal, former Honduran FA boss Rafael Callejas has died of leukemia, aged 76, in a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, where he had reportedly been in prison.
Callejas , who at one stage even ran the Honduras government having been state president from 1990 to 1994, was a member of FIFA’s Marketing and TV committee when he was indicted by American prosecutors and later pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering and wire fraud conspiracy.
Current Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez confirmed Callejas’ death, adding on his Twitter account that “we enormously regret” the loss of his former colleague.
But Callejas was one of the 40 officials implicated in the vast corruption scandal that shook the football world. He was accused of receiving bribes in exchange for awarding Florida-based Media World the television broadcasting and commercial rights to Honduras’ qualifying matches for the 2014, 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Although he pleaded guilty in a US court, his sentencing was postponed many times due to his health problems and he had reportedly been due to appear in court again on May 5.
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