KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Jose Maria Marin, millionaire former head of the Brazilian football confederation, has been banned from the game for life by the ethics committee of world governing body FIFA.
Last August Marin, 86, was jailed in New York for four years for bribery and corruption 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.
FIFA’s ethics panel has been steadily working through the individuals indicted in the US, a lengthy process, hence the eight-month gap between the delivery of judicial and sporting justice.
A statement said Marin had been found “guilty of bribery in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics.”
It added: “The investigation into Mr Marin related to various bribery schemes, in particular during the 2012-2015 period, in relation to his role in awarding contracts to companies for the media and marketing rights to CONMEBOL, CONCACAF and CBF competitions.
“In its decision, the adjudicatory chamber found that Mr Marin had breached art. 27 (Bribery) of the FIFA Code of Ethics and, as a result, banned him for life from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level. In addition, a fine in the amount of CHF 1 million has been imposed.”
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.
A year later he 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.
US authorities have been unable to bring Marin’s CBF predecessor Ricardo Teixeira and successor Marco Polo del 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, is currently on trial in Madrid on associated charges which he has denied.