The first Asian soccer official to be convicted in the FIFA corruption scandal, a member of a committee that oversaw ethics compliance, told a U.S. judge he accepted about $1 million in bribes, including $100,000 from the former president of the Asian Football Confederation.
Guam Football Association President Richard Lai, a U.S. citizen who’s also on the Asian confederation’s executive board, implicated that group’s ex-president, Mohamed Bin Hammam, and two other Asian soccer officials during his guilty plea Thursday, according to records in federal court in Brooklyn, New York.
Lai said rival factions within the sport’s governance bodies were trying to win his influence in the election for FIFA president and that he accepted illegal payments from both sides. Suspended Friday by the football organization’s ethics committee, Lai could face decades in prison after admitting to two counts of wire fraud.
While Lai didn’t name Hammam in court, he said he accepted $100,000 “from …
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