In the context of the “Fifagate” scandal, the former head of the Salvadoran football federation, Reynaldo Vasquez, was handed a prison sentence of sixteen months on Thursday by an American court for having accepted payments in connection with the scandal.
After being extradited in January 2021, Vasquez, who was 66 at the time, entered a guilty plea to the accusations of corruption.
Prosecutors in the United States allege that he and other executives or former officials of the Salvadoran football federation accepted bribes totaling approximately $350,000 in connection with the sale of broadcast and marketing rights to friendly matches and World Cup qualifiers in 2018.
In a statement, Prosecutor Breon Peace said that the accused and his co-conspirators had “dishonored themselves by lining their pockets with hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes, at the expense of a fine sport, the Salvadoran Football Federation and the community it served.” “The accused and his co-conspirators, motivated by greed, dishonored themselves by filling their pockets with hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes”
‘Vasquez must now be held accountable, like the many other corrupt football authorities who have been exposed by the government inquiry,’ he continued. ‘Vasquez is in the same boat as the many other corrupt football officials.
As the head of Salvadoran football from June 2009 until July 2010, he was indicted in November 2015 along with dozens of other leaders in the so-called “Fifagate” affair. This scandal is notable for having led to the resignation of Sepp Blatter as the president of the world football governing body. He served in that role from June 2009 until July 2010.
Early in October 2019, Fifa concluded that he was guilty of corruption and issued him a lifetime ban from participating in any football-related activity in addition to a punishment of 500,000 Swiss francs (about $490,000).
About forty natural and legal individuals, the vast majority of whom are South American, have been indicted by the American court system in connection with the Fifagate scandal.
In addition, in March of 2017, a court in Vasquez’s nation sentenced him to eight years in prison for the theft of nearly 400,000 dollars worth of social security contributions that he was supposed to have paid.