Former Panama football boss rejects FIFA corruption accusations

Panama City, Dec 5 (IANS) The former president of the Panama Football Federation, Fepafut, Ariel Alvarado, has rejected allegations of bribery made against him in the FIFA corruption scandal.

“I am astonished. I have a personal responsibility as sports leader and family man. I am sure that the accusations will be clarified in the good name of football and of my family,” Xinhua quoted Alvarado as saying in a statement on Friday.

Meanwhile, current Fepafut president Pedro Chaluja said Alvarado is personally under investigation and not the institution itself.

“We do not know any details of the economic situation of the institution under Alvarado’s direction. He and his team had centralised management of accounting information,” said Chaluja.

However, Chaluja added that Fepafut is willing to fully collaborate with the investigation.

Alvarado was president of Fepafut between 2000 and 2011 as well as serving on the executive committee of the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf).

Robert Capers, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District, has earlier accused Alvarado of making suspicious transactions worth around $230,000.

Alvarado is also suspected of taking two alleged bribes related to the broadcasting rights for Panama’s qualifying matches ahead of the 2010 South Africa World Cup and 2014 Brazil World Cup.

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