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DirecTV ‘monitoring’ situation after Torneos implicated in US’s Fifa indictment

DirecTV is monitoring the US Department of Justice’s investigation into allegations of corruption involving Fifa, football’s global governing body, and the Torneos y Competencias agency, in which the pay-television operator has a minority stake.

Executives from Torneos, as well as the Full Play and Traffic Sports agencies, have been accused by US prosecutors of corruption in relation to the sale of media and marketing rights surrounding certain football matches and tournaments in the Americas.

While stressing that it had a minority stake and had no management control of Torneos, DirectTV said: “We expect all businesses in which we have ownership interests to comply with established laws and regulations. We are following this matter closely to determine what, if any, actions will be appropriate.”

The prosecutors’ indictment in the case against Alejandro Burzaco, the head of Torneos, claims that the Argentina-based company formed a joint venture called Datisa with two other companies that agreed to pay bribes of $110m (€101m) to football officials for media rights to games in the Copa America national team tournament in Latin America. The payments were allegedly channelled through a Swiss bank account of a Torneos affiliate, according to the Reuters news agency.

DirecTV did not say whether it knew about the details of the media-rights deals negotiated by Torneos, and did not confirm the size of its stake in the agency.