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Corruption in soccer: FIFA suspends head of Brazil’s Federation

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The ethics commitee of FIFA – the international soccer’s global governing entity – decided provisionally barring Brazil’s top soccer official Marco Polo Del Nero.

The move came two years after American authorities charged him with seven counts of corruption (money laundering, wire fraud and racketeering conspiracies). To avoid facing an U.S. court on those charges, Del Nero has since avoided travel, remaining inside Brazilian borders.

Of the more than 40 people charged by the United States in 2015, Mr. Del Nero was the last  still in power, presiding over Brazil’s soccer federation.

As three of Mr. Del Nero’s former colleagues from South American soccer have faced trial in New York this month for similar charges, his name has figured prominently into the arguments. American prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers have called the conspicuously absent executive a linchpin in the web of corruption, said The New York Times.

Del Nero was elected president of São Paulo State Soccer Federation in 2003 and re-elected for another term in 2010. On 22 March 2012, he replaced Ricardo Teixeira as Brazil’s representative on FIFA’s Executive Committee.

In May 2015, Del Nero suddenly left Zurich for Brazil, in the wake of the arrests of several FIFA executives. He resigned as a member of FIFA’s Executive Committee in November 2015.

Del Nero does not leave Brazil since May 2017, not even to follow matches of the Brazil national football team, nor to attend official obligations at FIFA or Conmebol. The appointed reason is the eminence of being arrested, just like his predecessor, because of the FIFA corruption scandal. However, he does not comment of the matter.