Former Brazilian Football Confederation president released from jail

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A federal judge in New York has granted an 87-year-old former senior Brazilian football official tarnished by the FIFA corruption scandal release from prison on humanitarian grounds.

Judge Pamela Chen authorised the release of Jose Maria Marin, a former Brazilian Football Confederation president, who was serving a four-year prison sentence for accepting millions of dollars in bribes as part of the global FIFA corruption scandal.

Marin was scheduled for release in early December 2020, according to the US Federal Bureau of Prisons.

But following a request from the Brazilian’s lawyers Chen granted a “compassionate release,” for reasons “including his advanced age, significantly deteriorating health, elevated risk of dire health consequences due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, status as a non-violent offender, and service of 80% of his original sentence,” a court document read.

Marin was the first major football official found guilty and sent to prison in the United States as part of the “FIFA gate” scandal of kickbacks and bribes that smeared the reputation of the global sports organisation.

He was being held in FCI Allenwood, a minimum-security facility in the state of Pennsylvania.

In August of 2018, a New York jury found Marin guilty of accepting $6.6 million in bribes — along with his deputy, Marco Polo del Nero — in exchange for contracts to broadcast major tournaments.

Upon hearing his sentence Marin, who had already served 13 months behind bars, broke down in the courtroom and burst out crying.

“I could die in prison!” he wailed. “My wife and my family — don’t take away their means of survival!”