Former Costa Rican Football Federation President Eduardo Li, accused by the U.S. Department of Justice of taking bribes in connection with the sale of marketing rights for World Cup 2018 qualifying games pleaded not guilty in Brooklyn federal court to corruption charges connected to the ongoing scandal around FIFA. Li, a Costa Rican citizen, was one of seven officials from world soccer’s governing body taken into custody in a dawn raid on a luxury Zurich hotel on May 27.
U.S. prosecutors say Li asked for and received hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from sports marketing companies in exchange for commercial rights to World Cup qualifier matches. LI initially fought extradition, but agreed to come to the United States to face charges earlier this month. Entering his plea in the late afternoon, he remained in custody, according to his lawyer and a spokesperson for U.S. prosecutors.
This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.