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Ex-Panama football chief Alvarado jailed for corruption

The former president of the Panamanian Football Federation, Ariel Alvarado, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for corruption, the public prosecutor’s office announced on Tuesday. 

Alvarado, president from 2000 to 2011, was found guilty of taking bribes worth $230,000 from a marketing company in exchange for the broadcasting rights for Panama’s qualifying matches for the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. 

He was sentenced to “144 months in prison … for financial crime, in the form of acts of corruption in the private sphere and money laundering,” the Prosecutor General’s Office said in a statement.

The sentence was handed down on August 28 but not made public until Tuesday.

Alvarado, who had also been a member of FIFA’s ethics committee, was banned by the world governing body for life in 2019 and fined 500,000 Swiss francs ($511,000).

He was also among the individuals indicted by US prosecutors for his role in the sprawling 2015 ‘FIFAgate’ scandal involving financial kickbacks for broadcast and promotional rights to World Cup and CONCACAF (North, Central American and Caribbean federation) competitions. 

The scandal ultimately led to the downfall of former FIFA president Sepp Blatter in 2015.

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