Court annuls Peru official’s life ban, returns case to FIFA

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — A South American soccer official who was acquitted of a racketeering conspiracy charge in the United States has had his life ban by FIFA annulled and sent back for a fresh investigation.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said Thursday its panel of judges partially upheld an appeal by Manuel Burga against FIFA “on the basis of a violation of due process rights.”

Burga’s ban from soccer imposed in 2019 was overturned “and the case has been referred back to the FIFA Investigatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee which will have to resume the procedure,” the court said.

Burga was the president of Peru’s soccer federation when he was implicated in taking bribes by a sweeping investigation unsealed in 2015 by American federal authorities.

He stood trial in Brooklyn with two other South American soccer leaders and was the only one acquitted in December 2017. Leaving court he said: “My history in soccer is finished.”

Two years later, FIFA investigators argued there was “overwhelming evidence” Burga got or had been promised $6.6 million in bribes linked to marketing deals for competitions including the Copa America and Copa Libertadores.

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