Figueredo took ‘$50,000 per month’

Montevideo, December 30

Fallen FIFA vice president Eugenio Figueredo received $50,000 a month in “improper payments” from sports marketing companies, authorities in his native Uruguay alleged on Tuesday in an indictment.


The 83-year-old ex-football boss, one of seven top FIFA officials arrested at a Zurich luxury hotel in May, received “hefty sums” each month to ensure firms retained their exclusive broadcast rights to various South American tournaments, said the indictment published by a Uruguayan court.

Figueredo, who was extradited from Switzerland to Uruguay last week, faces charges of fraud and money laundering, and is currently in jail pending trial.

Detailing their case against him, prosecutors said records showed Figueredo received not only a monthly salary of $40,000 as president of South American football confederation CONMEBOL, but also $50,000 a month in bribes, which he invested in Uruguayan real estate.

The indictment said the sources of the illicit cash included Argentine firms Full Play and Torneos y Competencias, as well as Cayman Islands-registered T&T sports, all of which are in the cross-hairs of the United States investigation that unleashed the corruption scandal roiling world football.

It said Figueredo had admitted to accepting more than $400,000 from Full Play to protect the company from competition for the TV rights to tournaments. He told the court the presidents of South America’s 10 national football associations all received similar payments, it said.

Figueredo used “ploys and deceit to the detriment of Uruguayan clubs and professional footballers,” said the indictment. “These ploys aimed to maintain the status quo that had reigned for years at CONMEBOL and which resulted in avoiding new offers and/or companies for the sale of television rights to the different tournaments,” read the indictment.

The tournaments involved included the continent’s top money-maker, the Copa Libertadores, as well as the under-17 and under-20 youth championships, it said.

Figueredo faces two to 15 years in prison if convicted. His lawyer has said she will request house arrest because he is in poor health.

He had agreed to be extradited to Uruguay, but was fighting extradition to the United States.

The head of the Uruguayan Football Association from 1997 to 2006, Figueredo became CONMEBOL president in 2013.

CONMEBOL’s last three presidents have all been arrested in the scandal, plunging the South American confederation into crisis.