CONMEBOL President ‘Calm’ About Bribe Claims
South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) president Juan Angel Napout of Paraguay has said he is “calm” after accusations linked him to a network of corruption surrounding the organisation.
“I was always on the side of the law… I am calm,” media quoted Napout as saying on Wednesday.
Napout broke his silence after finding out almost two months ago that the US was investigating him surrounding a $7.5 million bribe claim from when he was the president of the Paraguayan Football Association (APF) from 2007 to 2014.
This charge, associated with the sales of the Copa America football tournament’s television rights, is linked to the FIFA corruption scandal. This scandal involves former CONMEBOL presidents Nicolas Leoz and Eugenio Figueredo among other South American football executives.
“Silence is prudence when they say many things that aren’t true,” said Napout, who preferred not to give details of the claims made by the US Department of Justice.
Napout said during this year’s Copa America in Chile, he worked in the CONMEBOL headquarters from morning until night including weekends.
His deputy, Uruguayan Wilmar Valdez said the football entity’s accounts had not been frozen.
“It is a great crisis but we are coming out of it with clear rules,” said Valdez.