16 December 2015
Former president of Honduras, Rafael Callejas, is currently a member of FIFA’s television and marketing committee. He was president of Honduras from 1990 to 1994. He pleaded not guilty on his first appearance in the courts in the US. A federal court in Brooklyn has ordered him to be held without bail. He travelled to the United States on the advice of his lawyers. The 72-year-old Callejas is accused of taking $1.6 million in bribes between March 2011 and January 2013 for broadcasting rights of games played by the Honduran national team.
Former FIFA vice president Juan Angel Napout also pleaded not guilty on his first appearance in the courts in the US. He was released on $20 million bond. He is subject to electronic monitoring and home detention. He was one of those who were arrested in Baur Au Lac hotel in Switzerland. He was extradited to the United States on Tuesday. He appeared in courts in just a few hours after his arrival in the US. His next hearing is scheduled for 16 March 2015. The 57-year-old Napout is a Paraguayan.
FIFA has suspended both men for a period of 90 days. Both men are accused of taking millions of dollars in bribes or kickbacks while selling marketing rights for regional tournaments and World Cup qualifying matches. It was alleged in the indictment that in 2012 a marketing firm paid $500,000 into a Panama bank account so it could be paid as bribes to Callejas and another soccer official in exchange for broadcasting rights for the 2022 World Cup. The indictment also identified Napout as a member of a bloc of soccer officials known as the “Group of Six” that would receive annual bribes for supporting FIFA contracts with another marketing firm.
FIFA’s long serving president, Sepp Blatter, along with UEFA boss Michel Platini has been suspended by FIFA over a $2million payment to Platini authorised by Blatter. Swiss authorities are investigating Blatter who is a Swiss national.