FIFA corruption witness Hawilla dies

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Rio De Janeiro, May 26 (IANS) Jose Hawilla, whose cooperation with investigators helped lift the lid on widespread corruption in football, died on Friday at the age of 74.

The Brazilian businessman and one-time sports journalist passed away at Sao Paulo’s Sirio Libanes Hospital, four days after being admitted with respiratory problems, the Globo newspaper reported, reports Xinhua news agency.

Hawilla was arrested in 2013 on charges of paying bribes to secure tournament marketing rights for his company Traffic Group.

A year later he pleaded guilty to wire fraud, racketeering, money laundering and obstruction of justice.

Hawilla avoided a long prison term after agreeing to pay back 151 million U.S. dollars in ill-gotten gains and assist prosecutors.

Those arrested as a result of his plea-bargain testimony included top officials from FIFA, CONMEBOL and the Brazilian Football Confederation.



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