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Argentine Lawyer Named in FIFA Trial Commits Suicide, Police Say


FILE - Alejandro Burzaco of Argentina leaves the U.S. Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York, Sept. 18, 2015. The former chairman of an Argentina-based sports marketing business testified Nov. 14, 2017, that Jorge Delhon, attorney for the "Futbol Para Todos" television program, received bribes from the end of 2011 to 2014. Delhon committed suicide late Tuesday, Buenos Aires police said.

A former Argentine lawyer for a government-run soccer television program ran in front of a Buenos Aires train and committed suicide late Tuesday, hours after being accused in a New York court of receiving bribes, police said.

Jorge Delhon, attorney for the Futbol Para Todos (Soccer for All) program, received bribes from the end of 2011 to 2014, according to testimony by the former head of sports marketing company Torneos y Competencias, Alejandro Burzaco, as recorded in a court transcript seen by Reuters.

The driver of the train told police a man later identified as Delhon, 50, ran along the tracks in Lanus, Buenos Aires, the local police department said in a statement that called the death a suicide. The driver honked and tried to brake but the man was run over, the statement said.

Reuters was unable to reach Delhon's family for comment or to independently confirm the death was a suicide.

Javier Saldias, a fellow former lawyer for Futbol Para Todos who told Reuters he was a friend of Delhon, said Delhon was "a model father. He loved his family."

Paid for TV rights

Burzaco testified during a U.S. corruption trial of three former soccer officials that major media companies had paid bribes to secure television rights for soccer matches. The testimony came during the first trial to emerge from the U.S. investigation of bribery surrounding FIFA, soccer's world governing body.

In his testimony in a Brooklyn federal court, Burzaco described bribes paid to several international soccer officials, including Julio Humberto Grondona, a former Argentine Football Association president and FIFA executive, who died in 2014.

Soccer for All, a free-to-view program created by Argentina's former President Cristina Fernandez, brought top-flight matches into the households of a soccer-obsessed country and was emblematic of her populist policymaking.

Center-right President Mauricio Macri, a former chairman of top club Boca Juniors who took office in December 2015, made a deal with the local soccer association to rescind the contract as he moved to cut government subsidies.

In March, divisions of U.S. media companies Twenty-First Century Fox and Time Warner won a joint contract to broadcast Argentine soccer matches for five years beginning next season.

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