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Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas


A combination of file pictures made on May 27, 2015 shows Fifa officials (LtoR, from upper row) Rafael Esquivel, Nicolas Leoz, Jeffrey Webb, Jack Warner, Eduardo Li, Eugenio Figueredo and Jose Maria Marin

A combination of file pictures made on May 27, 2015 shows Fifa officials (LtoR, from upper row) Rafael Esquivel, Nicolas Leoz, Jeffrey Webb, Jack Warner, Eduardo Li, Eugenio Figueredo and Jose Maria Marin

The high-ranking world soccer officials arrested on Wednesday come mainly from the Americas and cut at the heart of the governing entity of the sport.

Here's a look at their backgrounds:

Jeffrey Webb, 50, of the Cayman Islands, current FIFA vice president and executive committee member, CONCACAF president, Caribbean Football Union (CFU) executive committee member and Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) president.

Eduardo Li, 56, of Costa Rica, current FIFA executive committee member-elect, CONCACAF executive committee member and Costa Rican soccer federation (FEDEFUT) president.

Julio Rocha, 64, of Nicaragua, current FIFA development officer; former Central American Football Union (UNCAF) president and Nicaraguan soccer federation (FENIFUT) president.

Costas Takkas, 58, of United Kingdom, current attaché to the CONCACAF president; former CIFA general secretary.

Eugenio Figueredo, 83, of the U.S. and Uruguay, current FIFA vice president and executive committee member; former CONMEBOL president and Uruguayan soccer federation (AUF) president.

Rafael Esquivel, 68, of Venezuela, current CONMEBOL executive committee member and Venezuelan soccer federation (FVF) president.

José Maria Marin, 83, of Brazil, current member of the FIFA organizing committee for the Olympic football tournaments; former CBF president.

Two others charged in the indictment Wednesday:

Jack Warner, 72, of Trinidad and Tobago, former FIFA vice president and executive committee member, CONCACAF president, CFU president and Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) special adviser. Resigned from all football posts on June 11, 2011, bringing an end to FIFA Ethics Committee procedures against him.

Nicolas Leoz, 86, of Paraguay, former FIFA executive committee member and CONMEBOL president.

Four of the defendants were sports marketing executives:

Alejandro Burzaco, 50, of Argentina, controlling principal of Torneos y Competencias S.A., a sports marketing business based in Argentina, and its affiliates.

Aaron Davison, 44, of the U.S., president of Traffic Sports USA Inc. (Traffic USA).

Hugo and Mariano Jinkis, controlling principals of Full Play Group S.A., a sports marketing business based in Argentina, and its affiliates. Hugo Jinkis, 70, and Mariano Jinkis, 40, are both from Argentina.

And one of the defendants was in the broadcasting business but allegedly served as an intermediary to facilitate illicit payments between sports marketing executives and soccer officials:

Jose Margulies, 75, of Brazil, controlling principal of Valente Corp. and Somerton Ltd.

The guilty pleas of four individual and two corporate defendants were also unsealed Wednesday.

On July 15, 2013, the defendant Daryll Warner, 40, son of defendant Jack Warner and a former FIFA development officer, waived indictment and pleaded guilty to a two-count information charging him with wire fraud and the structuring of financial transactions. Daryll Warner is from the U.S. and Trinidad and Tobago.

On Oct. 25, 2013, the defendant Daryan Warner, 46, waived indictment and pleaded guilty to a three-count information charging him with wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and the structuring of financial transactions. Daryan Warner forfeited over $1.1 million around the time of his plea and has agreed to pay a second forfeiture money judgment at the time of sentencing. Daryan Warner is from Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada.

On Nov. 25, 2013, the defendant Charles Blazer, 70, the former CONCACAF general secretary and a former FIFA executive committee member, waived indictment and pleaded guilty to a 10-count information charging him with racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, income tax evasion and failure to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR).

Blazer forfeited over $1.9 million at the time of his plea and has agreed to pay a second amount to be determined at the time of sentencing. Blazer is from the U.S.

On Dec. 12, 2014, the defendant José Hawilla, 71, the owner and founder of the Traffic Group, the Brazilian sports marketing conglomerate, waived indictment and pleaded guilty to a four-count information charging him with racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and obstruction of justice.

Hawilla also agreed to forfeit over $151 million, $25 million of which was paid at the time of his plea. Hawilla is from Brazil.

On May 14, 2015, the defendants Traffic Sports USA Inc., registered in the U.S., and Traffic Sports International Inc., registered in the U.S. Virgin Islands, pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy.

A search warrant was also executed Wednesday at CONCACAF headquarters in Miami, Florida.

Material for this report came from the U.S. Justice Department indictment.

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