- South American officials face prison time if found guilty in US court
- Defendants deny counts of racketeering and wire fraud
- New York court told of importance of football around the world
Inside a packed New York City courtroom, and under heightened security on Monday, US prosecutors accused three former South American football administrators of taking millions of dollars in bribes as part of a web of endemic corruption at the heart of the sport’s governing body, Fifa.
José Maria Marin, the 85-year-old former head of Brazil’s football federation, Juan Ángel Napout, the 59-year-old Paraguayan who was president of South American football’s governing body Conmebol, and Manuel Burga the 60-year-old former president of the Peruvian football federation, have denied multiple counts of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering.