- Title: 'Never again', swears South America as it promises soccer clean-up
- Date: 27th April 2017
- Summary: SANTIAGO, CHILE (APRIL 26, 2017) (REUTERS) CONMEBOL LEGAL SECRETARY, MONSERRAT JIMENEZ, DURING NEWS CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 11th May 2017 01:53
- Keywords: soccer CONMEBOL corruption allegations South America
- Location: SANTIAGO, CHILE
- City: SANTIAGO, CHILE
- Country: Chile
- Topics: Soccer,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA0036E6AI4F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The head of South America's soccer federation swore that the corruption cases that have rocked it in recent years would "never again" happen, as the organisation described itself as a victim and pledged to try and recoup stolen funds.
Allegations of high-level corruption and criminal misconduct have buffeted world soccer since 2015, when several dozen soccer officials, mainly from Latin America, were indicted in the United States on corruption-related charges.
Three former presidents of CONMEBOL are among those indicted, including 88-year-old Nicolas Leoz who was head of the South American confederation for 27 years from 1986 and remains under house arrest while he faces an extradition request from U.S. authorities.
Delegates of CONMEBOL, gathered in Chilean capital Santiago for their annual conference on Wednesday (April 26), heard from lawyers how "hundreds of millions of dollars" meant for soccer development had been diverted to third-party bank accounts.
Paraguayan Alejandro Dominguez, who was elected president last year after CONMEBOL, told media the soccer organisation was working towards justice.
US-based Ernest & Young is carrying out an audit of CONMEBOL to get the body's books in order. But Dominguez said the organisation is working fast to build consensus amongst member states to get it back on track.
The phrase 'never more', or 'nunca mas' in Spanish, has strong resonance in South America, where it was used in the 1980s by panels investigating past human rights abuses.
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