Documents Reveal 21st Century Fox's Alleged Involvement In FIFA Bribes
Senior execs at 21st Century Fox are alleged to have "agreed for millions of dollars in bribes to be paid" to South American football officials to secure major broadcast deals, U.S. prosecution documents unmasked by sworn testimony revealed, according to Laughland & Swaine of the London GUARDIAN. The documents form part of the "sprawling" U.S. investigation into corruption in world football, and for the first time reveal the execs' alleged role in the scheme. The three men were named in a previously unreported court filing, which alleged they took part in a "bribery-for-broadcasting-rights scheme" that is detailed by the U.S. justice department in separate documents that "shield the identities of certain organizations and individuals." U.S. prosecutors said that the multi-million dollar payments "helped an offshore partnership involving Fox -- T&T Sports Marketing Limited -- obtain the lucrative rights" to televise the Copa Libertadores. Neither Fox nor any of the identified execs have been charged by U.S. authorities. Fox Sports said in a statement that it "did not participate in any wrongdoing," but declined to answer a series of detailed questions. The company and the three execs have been accused of involvement in bribery via an ongoing civil case brought against Fox and others by rival broadcaster Gol TV. The company claims to have "unfairly lost out on media rights due to the alleged kickbacks" (GUARDIAN, 12/14).