Fox Sports ac­cused of in­volve­ment in soc­cer bribes

The Oklahoman - - SPORTS - FROM STAFF AND WIRE RE­PORTS

Fox Sports has de­nied ac­cu­sa­tions from a for­mer mar­ket­ing ex­ec­u­tive that it part­nered with his firm to pay bribes to soc­cer of­fi­cials to se­cure broad­cast­ing rights to ma­jor soc­cer tour­na­ments.

The ac­cu­sa­tion came Tues­day at the U.S. trial of three for­mer South Amer­i­can soc­cer of­fi­cials ac­cused of tak­ing bribes in a sprawl­ing cor­rup­tion in­ves­ti­ga­tion of FIFA, the sport’s gov­ern­ing body.

Ale­jan­dro Burzaco, the for­mer CEO of a mar­ket­ing firm based in Ar­gentina, tes­ti­fied that Fox was among sev­eral me­dia com­pa­nies pay­ing bribes through sham con­tracts for the Copa Amer­ica and other events.

Fox Sports is­sued a state­ment late Tues­day say­ing “any sug­ges­tion” it “knew of or ap­proved of any bribes is em­phat­i­cally false.” The state­ment says Fox Sports “had no op­er­a­tional con­trol” of Burzaco’s com­pany.

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