Man kills himself after bribe claim in Fifa trial
Three South American football officials are on trial in New York for fraud and other offences
A former football official in Argentina has committed suicide after he was accused in the Fifa corruption trial of taking $2 million (£1.5 million) in bribes.
Jorge Delhon, 52, a father of four, threw himself under a train in a Buenos Aires suburb on Tuesday night. The 52-year-old lawyer had worked for Football for All, a government programme which held the rights to football broadcasts in Argentina.
He was accused, along with his former colleague Pablo Paladino, by the sports marketing executive Alejandro Burzaco of having taken millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for TV rights. Three South American officials are on trial in New York for fraud and other offences. José María Marín, 85, former chief of the Brazil FA, Juan Ángel Napout, 59, a former Fifa vice-president, and Manuel Burga, 60, the former president of the FA in Peru, all deny the charges.
Burzaco, the first witness in the trial, named Fox Pan American Sports, now part of 21st Century Fox, Brazil’s TV Globo, Argentine group Full Play and Spain’s MediaPro as among companies who paid bribes. Fox Sports said that “any suggestion that Fox Sports knew of or approved of any bribes is emphatically false”.
Much of Burzaco’s most damning testimony implicated men not on trial in New York, including the former Fifa finance chief Julio Grondona, from Argentina, who died in 2014, Nicolás Leoz, of Paraguay, and Brazil’s Ricardo Teixeira. Burzaco testified that Grondona received $1 million from Teixeira for voting for Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup. He also claimed that, when Leoz failed to vote for Qatar at Fifa headquarters in 2010, Teixeira and Grondona had rounded on him.