Jury chosen in FIFA corruption trial in New York

first_imgThe jurors were whittled down from a prospective pool of 200, and kept in semi-secluded anonymity following documented attempts at intimidation. They were finalized on day four of the painstaking process in the US federal court in Brooklyn.Of the 18 people, 12 are men and six are women. The majority are white.US District Judge Pamela Chen, who is presiding over the trial, sent them home for the weekend with strict instructions not to talk anyone about the case and to isolate themselves from any news coverage.Prosecutors unveiled the scandal on May 27, 2015, lifting the lid on a quarter of a century of endemic corruption in the heart of FIFA, soccer’s governing body.Forty-two officials and marketing executives and three companies were indicted in an exhaustive 236-page complaint detailing 92 separate crimes and 15 corruption schemes to the tune of $200 million.Twenty-four have already pleaded guilty and only three were going on trial — charged with racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy.The most high-profile is Jose Maria Marin, 85, former president of Brazil’s Football Confederation — the sport’s organizing body in one of the premier soccer-playing nations in the world.Also in the dock is former FIFA vice president Juan Angel Napout, 59, and Manuel Burga, who led soccer in Peru until 2014 and once served as a FIFA development committee member.If convicted by the jury, they will be sentenced by Judge Pamela Chen. The most serious counts each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000The most high-profile official charged in the FIFA corrupton trial is Jose Maria Marin, 85, former president of Brazil’s Football Confederation © AFP/File / Don EMMERTNEW YORK, United States, Nov 10 – Twelve jurors and six alternates were selected at the FIFA corruption trial in New York on Thursday, tasked with deciding the guilt or innocence of three fabulously wealthy and once powerful South American soccer officials.The impanelling of the jury clears the way for prosecutors to begin opening statements next Monday, two and a half years after they unveiled what is the largest bribery scandal in the history of the world’s most popular sport.last_img read more

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Pressure mounts on Lopetegui as Madrid beaten by Levante

first_imgThe club’s previous worst run had been 464 minutes, in 1985. For a team that prides itself on flair and flamboyance, it is a streak that reflects just as badly on Lopetegui as the results, which could leave Real Madrid four points adrift of Barcelona later on Saturday, with a ‘Clasico’ to come next weekend at the Camp Nou. Asked about his future, Lopetegui said: “It is the last thing I am thinking about. I am thinking only about lifting the players.” Marcelo said: “We are with the coach until the death.” If Barca’s players were watching, they would have been licking their lips at the sight of Raphael Varane handing Levante a two-goal lead here after just 13 minutes. Jose Luis Morales and Roger Marti, from the penalty spot, were the beneficiaries. At the final whistle, Lopetegui stood on the touchline, with his hands on his hips, staring ahead in disbelief. He had left Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema on the bench, perhaps due to fitness issues, and the gamble backfired, despite both making a difference when brought on in the second half. Lopetegui had cited a lack of luck in recent weeks and Madrid were not blessed with it here. They hit the crossbar twice and the post once. They suffered a two-goal swing as a result of the Video Assistant Referee, one against called as a penalty, and one ruled out for offside.“I’m sure football will eventually give back to us what it is taking away,” Lopetegui said.But a single goal, from their 30-year-old left-back, in over eight hours is no fluke, and neither are the defensive lapses that could have seen Levante add more to their early double.Paco Lopez took charge of Levante in March and oversaw eight wins from 11 to avoid relegation. This season they are now seventh, a point behind Madrid.“I told the guys talent has its limits, but faith and conviction do not,” Lopez said. “This team believes in what they are doing.” – Scatty Madrid –Gareth Bale has his head in his hands, summing up Real Madrid’s mood after another loss © AFP / GABRIEL BOUYSLevante were two up in 13 minutes and both came from Varane mistakes. The first was more blatant as he misjudged the flight of Sergio Postigo’s through ball, allowing Morales to nick it round Thibaut Courtois and fire into the open net. It got worse as Varane handled and VAR advised the error had been inside the box. Roger converted the penalty. For the rest of the half, Madrid were scatty and imprecise, their finishing spoiled by bad luck but a lack of composure too. VAR proved their undoing again, ruling Marco Asensio’s follow-up offside after Casemiro headed against the crossbar. Mariano was also denied by the woodwork while Ramos and Lucas Vazquez missed from three yards. At half-time, there were a scattering of white handkerchiefs — the traditional expression of discontent — but more whistles. After the restart, the home fans sang “echale huevos”, meaning, “play with some balls”. Lopetegui had thrown Bale on at the interval while Benzema and Dani Ceballos were introduced on the hour. Not before the 56th minute, when Madrid’s drought became their longest ever. Benzema shot straight at Oier Olazabal, who then pushed a bending Bale free-kick wide. Finally, Madrid scored, with that pair involved again as Bale flicked on to Benzema and Marcelo drove home.Madrid believed as Benzema struck the far post with a curling effort and Mariano thought he had grabbed an equaliser in the 87th minute. The striker, however, had strayed just offside. For Madrid, it was not to be.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui barking instructions, but to no avail as the Spanish league giants fall to a humiliating 2-1 home defeat to Levante. © AFP / GABRIEL BOUYSMadrid, Spain, Oct 20 – Real Madrid failed to ease the pressure on coach Julen Lopetegui and instead set the record for the longest goal-drought in the club’s history during a surprise 2-1 defeat by Levante on Saturday. Madrid have now gone five games without a victory and when Marcelo gave them hope of a comeback at the Santiago Bernabeu, they had gone 481 minutes of normal time without a goal too. last_img read more

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