NEW YORK: Miguel Trujillo, a Florida-based FIFA match agent, has admitted charges laid by United States authorities in connection with the FIFAGate corruption investigation writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Trujillo was arrested on Monday, bringing to 42 the number of people and companies indicted in the scandal which which has sent shock waves through the leadership of world football.
A Colombian, Trujillo also pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false tax return and agreed to forfeit $495,000
Trujillo has been negotiating match fixtures and television rights on behalf of the Honduran national team for the past decade. He has been a FIFA match agent since 2006, working through Media World which has controlled image rights for the national teams of Honduras, Guatemala, Haití and El Salvador.
Last December Alfredo Hawitt, the head of the Honduras football federation and then president of the central and north American confederation, was arrested while attending a FIFA meeting on a FIFAGate indictment.
Hawitt was subsequently extradicted to the US were he is challenging bail terms ordered by a court.
A statement from the US DoJ expanded on the charges against Trujillo, stating: “Starting in approximately 2008 and acting variously on behalf of multiple sports marketing companies and his own soccer business, Trujillo paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to high-ranking officials of FIFA, CONCACAF, and four soccer federations in Central America and the Caribbean in furtherance of multiple schemes involving media and marketing contracts and international friendly matches.”
** Rafael Esquivel, a former president of the Venezuelan football federation and vice-president of the South American confederation CONMEBOL, hs been extradited from Switzerland to the United States.