May 8, 2018 / 4:53 PM / 2 months ago

Soccer: Former Guatemalan judge given life ban by FIFA for bribery

ZURICH (Reuters) - A former Guatemalan judge was banned from football for life by global soccer body FIFA on Tuesday for bribery while he was general secretary of his country’s football federation.

Hector Trujillo, who was also fined $200,000, had already been sentenced by a United States court to eight months in prison last October after previously pleading guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy.

He admitted to the court that he took kickbacks from a marketing company in exchange for his help securing media and marketing rights for World Cup qualifying matches. He said at the time that his conscience failed him and he thought of the payments as “common practice”.

He was the first person to be sentenced in a U.S. investigation into bribery surrounding FIFA which sparked the biggest crisis in the global soccer body’s history after more than 40 people were indicted in 2015.

FIFA’s ethics committee opened its own investigation after Trujillo was indicted and said he had been found guilty of breaking FIFA rules relating to bribery and corruption.

“He has therefore been banned for life from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at national and international level,” said FIFA in a statement.

Trujillo, a former judge on the Constitutional Court of Guatemala, was arrested in December 2015 on a Disney cruise ship docked in Port Canaveral, Florida.

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Toby Davis

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