NEW YORK: A new FIFAGATE trial is under way in New York with the corrupt operations of former bosses of the South American football confederation back under scrutiny.

Alejandro Burzaco, former ceo of Argentinian media agency TyC, told a court in Brooklyn, New York, that former leaders of CONMEBOL received between $30m and $32m in bribes in 2015.

He stated that the money was being paid by himself and two former executives of the television channel FOX, Hernan Lopez and Carlos Martinez, via T&T Cayman.

Lopez and Martinez, former executives of 21st Century Fox, and the Uruguay-based Full Play Group originally pleaded not guilty in Brooklyn in April 2020 to charges of including wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy.

In exchange the then leaders of CONMEBOL voted to award the channel broadcasting rights for the Copa Libertadores and qualifying and friendly matches between the region’s national teams.

Burzaco said that a global $60m had been set aside for these bribes but the operation had been halted by the revelation of the United States’ judicial authorities’ FIFAgate corruption investigation with a swath of extraditions and arrests.

He named recipients of the bribes as having included former CONMEBOL president Nicolas Leoz (who died in 2019), Argentinian Julio Grondona, ex-president of the Argentina federation and FIFA finance chair (who died in 2014), and Ricardo Texeira, the former president of the Brazilian confederation.

All three men served on FIFA’s executive committee in 2010, when Russia and Qatar were awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

In November 2017 Burzaco was a key witness in the FIFAGate trial of Jose Marin (Brazil) and Juan Angel Napout (Paraguay) who were jailed on chargs arising out of the corruption investigation. TV channels Televisa, Globo and Fox have all denied paying bribes.