The fallout from FIFAGate is still being felt even though the fuss has died down.
It was little more than three years ago that seven senior executives were escorted out of the Baur au Lac Hotel in Zurich and since then almost all the FBI’s targets have pleaded guilty to corruption offences – conspiracy, bribery, wire fraud – and then bargained what they know about their own and codefendants’ nefarious activities to get reduced sentences.
The latest to obtain a get-out-of-jail-- comparatively-free card was former FIFA ExCo member Rafael Salguero.
The former president of the Guatemala federation was given a “time served” sentence in New York for “helping police with their inquiries” since 2016. He admitted multiple charges including negotiating thousands of dollars in bribes from “an Italy-based individual” for his vote in the 2018/2022 bid battle.
The Salguero connection had been kept secret until just before sentencing. The assumption was that he had provided valuable information about his thenCONCACAF president Jack Warner. The latter, along with Ricardo Teixeira and Nicolas Leoz, is one of the three highestprofile targets beyond the irritated reach of the US.
Teixeira, former president of the Brazilian CBF, is protected by an anti-extradition clause in his national constitution, while ex-CONMEBOL boss Leoz will not be extradited from Paraguay because he is 90 and in ill-health.
Warner has an expensive London legal team contesting an extradition application lodged in Trinidad & Tobago. The lengthy legal duel is thought to be one reason why the eagerly awaited sentencing of Jeff Webb, his banker and CONCACAF successor, has been repeatedly delayed.
Once Webb is sentenced, with his crimes laid bare, it is thought Warner will seek to have extradition definitively rejected on the grounds that he could not expect a fair trial in the US.
deal...Rafael salguero (left) with sepp Blatter