U.S. government witness in FIFA trial said Fox, Televisa paid bribes

FILE PICTURE: Businessman Alejandro Burzaco (L) of Argentina arrives at the Federal Court in Brooklyn, New York, September 18, 2015. REUTERS/John Taggart

Thomson Reuters

By Brendan Pierson

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A witness for U.S. prosecutors in the corruption trial of three former soccer officials testified on Tuesday that media companies including Fox Sports and Grupo Televisa paid bribes to secure media rights for soccer matches.

It is the first trial to emerge from the U.S. probe into corruption surrounding FIFA, soccer's world governing body.

Alejandro Burzaco, former head of sports marketing company Torneos y Competencias, named the companies while being questioned by a prosecutor in Brooklyn federal court. Torneos y Competencias and Fox Sports, a unit of News Corp , jointly owned a sports marketing venture, T&T Sports Marketing Ltd.

The companies, which were not charged by U.S. prosecutors in the case, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The testimony came on the second day of the trial of Juan Ángel Napout, former president of the South American soccer governing body CONMEBOL and Paraguay's soccer federation; Manuel Burga, former president of Peru's soccer federation; and José Maria Marin, former president of Brazil's soccer federation.

(Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Richard Chang)

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