The US government is distributing $92 million to victims of football corruption

FIFA President Gianni Infantino answers questions during a press conference on the 2026 FIFA World Cup in New York on Thursday, June 16, 2022.  (AP Photo/Noah K Murray)

FIFA President Gianni Infantino answers questions during a press conference on the 2026 FIFA World Cup in New York on Thursday, June 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Noah K Murray)

AP

The US Department of Justice has distributed approximately $92 million in additional compensation from monies forfeited by convicted officials and related companies as a result of the government’s prosecution of corruption in football.

The money is used to compensate for losses incurred by FIFA, the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Football, the South American governing body CONMEBOL and various national football associations.

The Justice Department last August acknowledged losses of more than $201 million in cases that began indictments in May 2015, at the time announcing an initial payment of $32.2 million to a World Football Remission Fund. overseen by the FIFA Foundation charity.

FIFA’s charity supports school projects, helps the sport recover from natural disasters, develops women’s and girls’ football and a FIFA Legends program that uses former players as ambassadors. The money was obtained by forfeiture in federal court in Brooklyn.

More than 50 people and companies have been charged, mainly with paying and accepting bribes and kickbacks and money laundering under agreements between sports marketing companies and football officials for media and marketing rights to football events.

Twenty-seven individuals and four companies have pleaded guilty. Former CONMEBOL President Juan Ángel Napout and former President of the Brazilian Football Confederation José Maria Marin, who was head of Brazil’s Organizing Committee for the 2014 World Cup, were convicted in December 2017, as were banks, who were recognized for their role in criminal behavior by deferred prosecution – and non-tracking agreements.

“For much of the past decade, these investigations and prosecutions have focused on bringing wrongdoers to justice and recovering ill-gotten gains,” Breon Peace, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement Thursday. “Our office, in cooperation with our law enforcement partners and colleagues at the Department of Justice, will continue our work to compensate victims of crime.”

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