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Marketing exec says he tracked secret payments for Copa America

The Exploding Heads break down the recent World Cup playoffs as all 32 teams are now set for Russia.

NEW YORK -- A sports marketing executive has testified that he kept a secret ledger of payments made to South American football executives as part of contracts for the Copa America football tournament.

Santiago Pena, who worked for Full Play, testified Monday for the U.S. government in its case against Juan Angel Napout, the ex-president of Paraguay's football federation; Jose Maria Marin, the former president of Brazil's football federation; and Manuel Burga, the ex-head of Peru's football federation.

Pena...

CAS rules FIFA wrong to fine Mexico for fans' ant-gay chant

Herculez Gomez assesses which of the qualified CONCACAF teams can make the deepest run at the World Cup.

FIFA was judged wrong to fine Mexico's football federation for fans chanting anti-gay slurs at opposition goalkeepers at World Cup qualifying games.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport judges hearing Mexico's appeal accepted the chants were "insulting words," even if fans did not intend to offend, the court said on Thursday when it published the verdict.

"[The words] could still be considered discriminatory or insulting in nature and should not be tolerated in football stadiums,'' the court said.

However,...

Judge approves extradition of former CONMEBOL president Nicolas Leoz

Nicolas Leoz's extradition to the United States has been approved.

A judge in Paraguay has approved the extradition of Nicolas Leoz, the former president of CONMEBOL and one of those charged in a corruption scandal being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department.

For decades, Leoz was practically untouchable despite corruption allegations. But he has been held under house arrest in the Paraguayan capital fighting the extradition order to the U.S., where he has been wanted since 2015 on charges of receiving millions of dollars in bribes from marketing companies...

ESPN FC  By Dale Johnson

Germany stay top of FIFA World Ranking, Senegal climb to highest place

Joachim Low praises Leroy Sane's progression with Germany after not being involved in the Confederations Cup.

Germany will stay top of the FIFA World Ranking when the new list is published on Nov. 23.

The world champions have now held the No. 1 position for three consecutive months, and the top five remains unchanged for the second month in a row with Brazil, Portugal, Argentina and Belgium next in the ranking.

Spain climb two places to sixth, with France dropping two to ninth. That means Spain would have been in pot 1 in the World Cup finals draw on Dec. 1 had the seedings been decided on the new ranking,...

Ex-Argentina govt official commits suicide after corruption allegations

Sam Borden joints Outside the Lines to preview the blockbuster WC bid between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.
ESPN's Bob Ley speaks with U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati about the decision to make a joint bid for the 2026 World Cup.
U.S. soccer president Sunil Gulati is confident that North America's infrastructure will support its World Cup joint bid.
Qatar 2022 Organising Committee General Secretary Hassan Al-Thawadi says the World Cup campaign suffers from misinformation but the country is ready to host the event.
Debayan Sen and Sharda Ugra talk about AIFF's decision to take Praful Patel's election case to the Supreme Court.
US Attorney General Loretta Lynch named 16 additional men indicted on corruption charges and announced eight of the 14 FIFA members arrested in May have pleaded guilty including former FIFA vice president Jeffery Webb.
ESPN's Jeremy Schaap examines FIFA's questionable culture under Sepp Blatter's watch for the past 20 years.

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- A former Argentine government official has killed himself after being accused of taking bribes in testimony during a U.S. trial looking into corruption in world football.

Jorge Delhon, a lawyer who worked in the administration of former Argentina President Cristina Fernandez, killed himself on Tuesday by jumping in front of a train in Buenos Aires.

A ministry official in Buenos Aires province confirmed the death, but could not be identified because of not being authorised...

Marketing CEO names Globo, Televisa in World Cup TV rights scandal

Alejandro Burzaco testified on Wednesday that he helped bribe FIFA officials to secure World Cup broadcasting rights.

NEW YORK -- Media giants Globo and Televisa teamed with a marketing firm to make a $15 million bribe to a FIFA executive to help them secure lucrative broadcasting rights to the World Cup in 2026 and 2030, the firm's former CEO testified on Wednesday.

Alejandro Burzaco, a key witness at a U.S. bribery trial, testified that the deal was struck with longtime FIFA finance committee chairman Julio Grondona at a 2013 meeting in Zurich, Switzerland.

"Were you and your partners able to get those rights?"...