Alfredo Hawit, a former FIFA vice president from Honduras who also led the North and Central America and Caribbean confederation, CONCACAF, pleaded guilty in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, to four conspiracy charges and could face a maximum of 10 years imprisonment.
Hawit is one of 42 individuals and entities charged as part of a US investigation of more than $200 million in bribes and kickbacks sought and received by soccer officials for marketing and broadcast rights to tournaments and matches.
Hawit, 64, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, two counts of wire fraud conspiracy and conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice. He will forfeit $950,000 as part of his plea agreement.
Speaking in Spanish, the defendant admitted in court to having received hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from two sports marketing companies that were seeking media rights for soccer matches.
“I knew it was wrong for me to accept such undisclosed payments,” Hawit said through a translator.
To date, 15 people and two sports marketing companies have pleaded guilty in the US case. Prosecutors in a court filing on March 28 said they were in plea negotiations with multiple defendants.
Hawit was arrested by the US Department of Justice at a Zurich hotel on Dec. 3 along with South American football who unveiled charges against 16 people for participating in the bribery schemes.