Peruvian soccer official gets 2nd FIFA life ban for bribes

ZURICH (AP) — Peruvian soccer official Manuel Burga was banned for life by FIFA for the second time despite being acquitted of racketeering in a United States federal court.

FIFA said Tuesday that its ethics judges ruled again that Burga “participated in bribery schemes” that implicated a swath of South American soccer leaders in an American investigation that led to a 2017 trial in Brooklyn.

Burga was previously banned for life by the FIFA ethics committee in 2019 and fined 1 million Swiss francs (dollars). Those sanctions were overturned on appeal last year by the Court of Arbitration for Sport which cited “a violation of due process rights.” CAS sent the case back to FIFA for review.

The same verdict was reached in the second FIFA ethics trial. Burga can again appeal to CAS.

Burga was the president of Peru’s soccer federation when he was accused of taking bribes by a sweeping investigation unsealed in 2015 by American federal agencies.

At the time he was a member of FIFA’s development committee, which approved hundreds of millions of dollars in project funds to member federations.

Burga stood trial in Brooklyn with two other South American soccer leaders and was the only one acquitted in December 2017.

Two years later, FIFA ethics investigators alleged there was “overwhelming evidence” that Burga received or was promised $6.6 million in bribes linked to marketing deals for competitions including the Copa America and Copa Libertadores.


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