US & Canada

Fifa corruption: Ex-Honduran president Callejas admits charges

Rafael Callejas arrives for hearing at US Courthouse for the Eastern District of New York. 28 March 2016 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Rafael Callejas said he knew what he had done was wrong

Former Honduran President Rafael Callejas has pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit racketeering and wire fraud in connection with the Fifa corruption scandal.

Callejas, 72, who is also a former head of Honduran football, made his guilty plea in a federal court in New York.

Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Callejas, who was president of Honduras from 1990 to 1994, flew to the US in December to face the indictments.

At a court appearance in December, he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

But in court on Monday, he told the judge that he had accepted bribes and distributed some of the money to others, AP news agency reported.

"I knew it was wrong," he told the court.

In a statement, the US Department of Justice said Callejas had negotiated and accepted bribes in exchange for exercising his influence as the president of the Honduran football federation to award contracts for media and marketing rights to World Cup qualifier matches.

Callejas will be sentenced in August.

The US is investigating 42 people and organisations suspected of involvement in seeking bribes in return for lucrative marketing rights.

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