NEW YORK– A Florida media company pleaded guilty Tuesday to bribing soccer officials and agreed — with its Spanish parent company — to pay more than $24 million in fines, the latest scalps in a sweeping US prosecution of FIFA corruption.
Imagina US pleaded guilty over bribes to senior officials of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) and four Central American soccer federations to secure media and marketing rights to World Cup qualifier matches.
Imagina US agreed to forfeit $5.28 million in criminal proceeds before a federal court in Brooklyn, New York, US prosecutors announced.
Tuesday’s plea was heard by Judge Pamela Chen, who presided over the trial that convicted two ex-heads of Latin American football federations, after the United States unveiled the largest graft scandal in the history of world soccer.
Imagina US was sentenced to pay $3 million in restitution to the CFU, $1.7 million to the Honduran soccer federation, $790,000 to Guatemala’s, $600,000 to Costa Rica’s and $565,000 to El Salvador’s.
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By Daily Tribune — June 29, 2018 12:30 AMMANOLO FORTICH, Bukidnon -- Young guns Ira Alido and Lee Song matched their outputs for second straight day – a pair of 69s built around blistering starts on opposite nines -- that kept them at the helm halfway through the P3 million ICTSI Del Monte Championship here yesterday. From the backside, Lee gunned down three birdies in the last five holes, added another on No. 5 from close range but missed grabbing the solo lead with a bogey on the par-4 No. 8 for a 36-33 card. Alido also hit three birdies in a solid frontside stint but unlike Lee, the rising Filipino star needed to birdie the last to negate a bogey on No. 17 and preserve a 33-36 round at the Del Monte Golf Club. With 137s, Lee and Alido, who shot identical 68s Wednesday, stood a stroke ahead of new pursuer Nicolas Paez of the United States who highlighted his tournament-best 67 with an eagle on No. 14, and James Ryan Lam, who turned in a 69 for 138s while Tony Lascuña lay another shot back at 139 after a 68. Alido actually blew a couple of eagle chances, including on No. 6 from 15 feet on a superb 4-iron second shot from 230 years and on the 18th from 30 feet out. “I could’ve taken the lead had I made those eagles,” said Alido. “I failed to read clearly my lines of putt on those holes.” But he’s unmistakably in the hunt for a crack at a maiden crown although with a slew of aces just a stroke or two adrift, the 17-year old shot-maker will have a lot of toughening up to do in the last 36 holes to achieve a dream championship so early in his career. Lee, in contrast, banked on his superb iron play to stay in joint command, sinking four birdies inside four feet against a missed green bogey on the eighth. “I played relatively good, especially my short game and putting,” said the 19-year-old Lee, who will be as much tested as Alido in the featured threesome, with Lam, in the pivotal third round today. Jobim Carlos also kept his back-to-back Philippine Golf Tour title drive going, firing a 69 to lead the 140 group that includes Michael Bibat, erstwhile joint leader Lexus Keoninh of the US, Dutch Guido Van der Valk and Korean Kim Joo Hyung. Bibat, out to end a long title spell, bounced back from a bogey mishap on No. 4 with four birdies the rest of the way for a 69, Keoninh failed to sustain his eagle-spiked opening 68 with a 72, Van der Valk missed closing in on the leaders with two bogeys in the last three holes for a 71, and Kim overcame a two-over start with three birdies in the last six for a 71. Carlos, whose backside blitz in the final round netted him a four-stroke victory at Apo last weekend, missed joining Lascuña at fifth with a late bogey on the par-3 seventh but remained upbeat of his chances for another crack at the top P550,000 purse in the 72-hole championship. The top 44 made it to the final 36 holes of the fourth leg of the PGT with Magno Alarcon Jr. and Ebarra Quiachon, who carded identical 73s, and Jun Bernis, who stumbled with a 74, making the cut at 146.
By Daily Tribune — June 27, 2018 12:30 AMFrankie Lim seeks to bring back the winning culture right in his first year as head coach of University of Perpetual Help in the 94th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s basketball tournament starting July 7 at the Mall of Asia Arena. Lim vowed to go all out after taking over from Nosa Omorogbe following a disappointing ninth-place finish last year. “We’re not reaching for the moon, we just want to bring back the competitiveness and the winning culture also,” said Lim. Lim, who initially took over as head of Perpetual’s basketball program last November before getting the coaching appointment last January, is hoping he could weave the same magic the way he did when he steered San Beda College to four NCAA championships in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011.
By Daily Tribune — June 24, 2018 12:29 AMNIZHNIY NOVGOROD, Russia -- It was the morning after the night before for Argentinian fans in Nizhny Novgorod on Friday and the recriminations from the devastating Croatia defeat just hours earlier were well underway. The realisation that the 3-0 thumping by Croatia -- complete with comedy first goal -- had left the mighty two-time winners on the verge of a humiliating exit, left some of their fans in tears. On Friday, many remained stunned by what had happened. “We can’t sleep, we can’t talk, we can’t do anything,” said Sebastian, a 34-year-old lawyer who had travelled to Russia from Rosario. “We’ve never seen anything like last night.” The team, he said, had shown no “huevos”, using the Spanish slang for testicles. Susi, a grandmother from Buenos Aires who spent an eye-watering $40,000 taking her son and grandson to Russia, said the result was so bad it could have implications for Argentina’s president, Mauricio Macri, as he battles economic problems at home. “If Argentina loses, it can become a social problem,” she said. The defeat was arguably the most shocking result of the tournament so far. A team thought among the favorites for the World Cup, with superstar Lionel Messi as captain, were not expected to struggle through the first stage. They certainly weren’t expected to play so badly. The result was Argentina’s worst at a World Cup since being dismantled by Johan Cruyff’s “Total Football” Dutch side 4-0 on a thundery night in West Germany back in 1974. Nor were Argentina meant to rely on the results of Iceland or Nigeria just to remain in Russia. With one point from two games, their fans were desperate for Nigeria to beat Iceland in Friday’s game to retain hope of qualifying for the knockout stage. “Today, all my country is Nigerian,” joked Nicolas, 41, a company owner from Buenos Aires. Fans of the “Albiceleste” could be spotted all around Nizhny on Friday. Some were walking round town in kit, others with “Lio” shaved into their hair, and those draped in the country’s flag, like Santiago, a student from the south of Argentina, as he prepared to head to Saint Petersburg for Argentina’s crucial final Group D match on June 26. Who was to blame? The embattled coach Jorge Sampaoli or the curiously listless players who have failed to produce, including the great Messi? “I believe that the coach is not sure what he wants, or he is unable to pass this onto the players,” said Santiago. “But they also have to play, after all they are professionals.” AFP