Former Costa Rican soccer chief pleads guilty in FIFA fraud case
Li is also accused of siphoning off FIFA funds intended for the Costa Rican federation. (Wikipedia) Photograph: (Others)
Former president of the Costa Rican soccer federation, Eduardo Li, on Friday pleaded guilty to extortion and fraud in a corruption case that has also touched dozens of former leaders of soccer’s world governing body.
The 57-year-old had pleaded not guilty in December 2015.
As the president of the Costa Rican federation since 2007 Li was looking to becoming a member of the executive committee of FIFA, when the Swiss authorities arrested him in May 2015.
Investigators said that Li used his influence to help a private company obtain the marketing rights to several matches by the Costa Rican national team, and for another company to be represented on the team’s jerseys, AFP reported.
Li is also accused of siphoning off FIFA funds intended for the Costa Rican federation.
Investigators said that Li received more than half-a- million dollars in exchange, AFP reported.
The charges against him include extortion, fraud and criminal conspiracy to commit a fraud. Each of these charges carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years, according to a statement Friday from Robert Capers, the US attorney for the eastern district of New York, AFP reported.
In a plea deal, Li has agreed to pay a fine of $668,000.
About a third of the 40 people implicated in the FIFA scandal have entered guilty pleas, avoiding trial and most of those implicated were executives either of FIFA, of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf), or of sports marketing companies.
(WION with inputs from AFP)