KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTING —- Jose Maria Marin, millionaire former head of the Brazilian football confederation, has been sentenced in New York to four years in jail for bribery and corruption.

Marin, now 86, is the first of the major targets to be sentenced in the United States justice authorities’ prosecution of the FIFAGate scandal incriminating more than 40 senior football and marketing executives and several companies. He was also fined $1.2m and ordered to pay $3.3m in damages.

Prosecutor Richard Donoghue had sought a 10-year jail term and the sentencing hearing was interrupted after Marin broke down in tears during the Judge Pamela Chen’s opening remarks.

Both Marin and former South American confederation Juan Angel Napout, a Paragayan, had been in detention since last December after having been found guilty of corruption offences which they had denied. Napout is due to be sentenced next Wednesday while a further hearing concerning Marin’s financial penalties has been scheduled for November 20.

Jose Maria Marin . . . subject to FIFA damages claim

Marin, also a former governor of São Paulo, had been found guilty on six of seven counts of money-laundering and wire fraud conspiracy concerning rights to South America’s Copa America and Copa Libertadores as well as the Copa do Brasil.

Marin had been president of the CBF during the country’s hosting of the World Cup in 2014 when he was also a member of the governing executive committee of world football federation FIFA.

Baur au Lac swoop

Passing sentence, Judge Chen described Marin and other defendants as “a cancer in the sport they said they love” and that there was no other way of describing their actions as “pure greed.” Marin’s lawyers have indicated that he will appeal.

Marin was one of of the ‘Zurich Seven’ arrested by Swiss police acting on a US extradition warrant at the Baur au Lac hotel on the eve of FIFA Congress in 2015.  The Swiss courts rejected his opposition to extradition and he was held under house arrest in his Trump Tower apartment on Fifth Avenue while awaiting trial.

The so-called FIFAGate investigation by the US Justice Department erupted into the public domain in May 2015 and led to the indictment of more than 40 individuals and companies and concerned around $200m in bribes in football in north, south and central America and the Caribbean.

In October 2015 Hector Trujillo, former head of the Guatemalan federation, became the first person to be sentenced as part of the investigation. He was jailed for eight months after pleading guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy.

Costas Takkas, a British citizen who was a former general secretary of the Cayman Islands FA and aide to former FIFA vice-president Jeff Webb, was sentenced subsequently to 15 months in prison. Three of the accused – former CONCACAF general secretary Chuck Blazer, Brazilian marketing magnate Jose Hawilla and Nicaragua’s Julio Rocha – have all died during the investigatory process.

FIFA has lodged a multi-million dollar claims for restitution against all the indicted individuals.

In the case of Marin FIFA is claiming $97,000 in travel and per diem expenses paid to him between 2012 and 2014. This includes a payment of $17,000 for World Cup duties in Brazil. FIFA is also claiming legal costs of $125,000 incurred during the trial plus a share of $28m legal costs incurred in preparation.

Teixeira, Del Nero free

Marin’s lawyers, according to reports in Brazil, argue that FIFA is due nothing because it and its own officials were “complicit in the reported offences.”

US authorities have been unable to bring CBF predecessor Ricardo Teixeira and successor Marco Polo de Nero to trial on similar charges to Marin while they remain in Brazil. A clause in the national constitution prevents the extradition of its citizens.

Teixeira, former son-in-law of the late long-serving FIFA president Joao Havelange, is also wanted by Spanish prosecutors over fraud allegations concerning rights to Brazil national team matches. Sandro Rosell, former Nike executive and Barcelona president, has been in detention on associated charges for the past 18 months.