As the trial detailing widespread corruption in world soccer enters a fourth week, prosecutors are close to concluding their case in a Brooklyn federal courthouse.
One sleepy juror was dismissed last week, one defendant was admonished by the judge, and the FIFA president thanked American authorities.
“They do whatever they can to help us fight corruption and bribery,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said Friday at the Kremlin ahead of the 2018 World Cup draw in Moscow.
The three men on trial, when indicted and arrested in 2015, held the positions of a FIFA vice president, the head of the 2014 World Cup organizing committee, and a member of the FIFA committee allocating tens of millions of dollars in project grants.
Still, in what is often called “the FIFA trial,” it can seem that 2022 World Cup host Qatar and Nike are under equal scrutiny.
Here is a look at the current talking points in the trial:
Juan Angel Napout, the former president of Paraguay’s soccer federation and a FIFA vice president at the time of his arrest in December 2015.
Jose Maria Marin, the 2014 World Cup organizing head who was president of Brazil’s soccer body when arrested in Zurich in May 2015.
Manuel Burga, who was head of Peru’s soccer federation when arrested in Lima in December 2015.
All are on trial for racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies and face up to 20 years in prison. The charges are linked to bribery in the award of broadcasting contracts for South American soccer competitions.
More than 40 defendants are charged in the wider case. Many have pleaded guilty to get reduced sentences.
Luis Bedoya was the first former elected soccer official to testify, spending Monday and Tuesday on the stand.
He was Colombia’s soccer leader and a FIFA executive committee member when pleading guilty in 2015 to racketeering and wire fraud charges. He said he accepted more than $3 million in bribes since 2007.
Bedoya said the U.S. federal government pays the apartment rent for himself and his wife, who fear returning to Colombia. His cooperation agreement with federal prosecutors lets him apply for entry into the witness protection program.
Eladio Rodriguez formerly worked for Alejandro Burzaco, the main witness in the first week, keeping track of finances and bribe payments at the Argentinian sports marketing company Torneos y Competencias.
Bribes to Marin and Marco Polo del Nero, the current president of the Brazilian Football Confederation who has…