Imagina US, owned by the Spanish TV group Mediapro, has pleaded guilty to charges of bribing Latin American football officials for the TV rights to qualifying matches for the 2014, 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
The company will have to pay a fine of more than $24 million, imposed by a US court during the US investigation of corruption at world football’s governing body FIFA.
The company acknowledged that its executives bribed officials of the national federations of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) to secure the rights.
The court ordered the company to pay a criminal fine of about $12.9 million, pay restitution to the football federations and CFU totalling around $6.6 million, and another $5.3 million in criminal proceeds.
The fine will be paid by the Spanish parent company, which has entered into an agreement to avoid prosecution. Under its plea deal with prosecutors, the company has agreed not to appeal the judgement.
The executives at the company were fired when they acknowledged the bribes.