Rome: Italian police said Tuesday that Argentinian businessman Alejandro Burzaco, who has been indicted by US authorities in the FIFA corruption scandal, has turned himself in.
Burzaco, 50, was being held in Bolzano, near Italy's northern border with Switzerland after turning up at a police station with his lawyers. He was being held pending a hearing later in the day on whether he is formally arrested. Burzaco's whereabouts have been a mystery since seven FIFA executives were arrested in Zurich on the eve of a FIFA Congress last week.
According to reports, Burzaco was in the hotel where the executives were cuffed and promptly disappeared in the knowledge he was likely to be on the indicted list. Burzaco was wanted by the US authorities in connection with his role as president of sports marketing company Torneos y Competencias. He is suspected of irregularitites in the attribution of television rights for football tournaments in Latin America.
The Torneos y Competencias company held the television rights for the Argentinian league between 1992-2009 and in association with Aaron Davidson, the president of Traffic Sports USA arested in Zurich, and Full Play -- owned by two fugitive Argentinians Mariano and Hugo Jinkis -- hold the rights for the Copa America which kicks off in Chile next month.
Around 14 current or former FIFA officials and sports marketing executives are accused by US prosecutors of taking part in a sweeping kickbacks scheme going back 20 years involving a total of $150 million in bribes. The revelations have thrown the world of football into turmoil and led to the resignation of long-serving FIFA president Sepp Blatter last week, just four days after his re-election for a fifth successive term.
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