Latin America & Caribbean

Argentine ex-football official Jorge Delhon kills himself

People walk past the Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn where the Fifa trial is talking place on November 13, 2017 in New York Image copyright AFP
Image caption Jorge Delhon killed himself after a witness accused him of bribery at a Fifa corruption trial in New York

Argentine former football official Jorge Delhon took his own life on Tuesday just hours after he was accused of taking bribes.

Mr Delhon was accused of taking $2m (£1.5m) in payments in exchange for rights for broadcasting football games.

The 52-year-old lawyer worked for Football for All, a government programme which held the rights to football broadcasts in Argentina.

He was named during the Fifa corruption trial under way in New York.

The trial centres on three former top South American football officials:

  • Jose Maria Marin, the former head of Brazil's Football Confederation
  • Juan Ángel Napout, former Fifa vice-president
  • Manuel Braga, who led Peru's soccer federation until 2014

The former officials have been accused of taking millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for granting contracts for top South American tournaments, charges which they deny.

One of the key witnesses in the trial is Argentine sports marketing executive Alejandro Burzaco.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Argentine sports marketing executive Alejandro Burzaco (centre) said Jorge Delhon had taken bribes

Giving evidence in the trial on Tuesday, Alejandro Burzaco said he had paid Mr Delhon and another Argentine official $500,000 each every year from 2011 to 2014 to secure the broadcasting rights to football games.

Hours later, police in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, announced that Mr Delhon had killed himself.

The trial in New York is expected to last five weeks as prosecutors call dozens of witnesses to testify and present 350,000 pages of evidence.

The US investigation into corruption at the world's football governing body, Fifa, was first revealed in May 2015.

Federal prosecutors in New York have since indicted more than 40 sports and football executives.

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