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Guatemala ex-judge is first to be sentenced in the Fifa bribery scandal

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By Euronews
Guatemala ex-judge is first to be sentenced in the Fifa bribery scandal

<p>A former judge who led Guatemala’s soccer federation has become the first person sentenced in the US in the Fifa world football corruption scandal.</p> <p>“For the time being I cannot make a statement.”</p> <p>63-year-old Hector Trujillo pleaded guilty earlier in the year to conspiracy and pocketing almost 150,000 euros in bribes to steer sports marketing contracts to the federation.</p> <p>U.S. District Judge Pamela Chen said it was money “that should have been used to build soccer fields in poor neighborhoods” or buy uniforms for young players.</p> <p>He was sentenced to eight months in prison and ordered to pay 350,000 euros in damages.</p> <p>Trujillo asked to be allowed to return to Guatemala without serving any prison time, saying he had already suffered enough in the nearly two years spent in the United States.</p> <p>Chen, however, said that would send the “wrong message” to others participating in what U.S. prosecutors have called a pervasive culture of corruption in sport.</p> <p>Trujillo is among at least 42 people and entities charged in a U.S. probe into the payment of more than $200 million of bribes and kickbacks to soccer officials, in exchange for marketing and broadcast rights. </p> <p><span class="caps">FIFA</span> suspended Guatemala’s soccer federation in October 2016.</p>