Jose Maria Marin, of Brazil, arrives to federal court in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017. Closing arguments are set to take place in the New York trial of three former South American soccer officials charged in the bribery scandal engulfing the sport's governing body. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Prosecutor makes closing arguments at soccer bribery trial

December 13, 2017 - 1:05 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York prosecutor says three former South American soccer officials charged in a corruption scandal failed to protect the interests of the sport's governing bodies.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristin Mace said in closing arguments at their trial Wednesday that the three took millions in bribes in exchange for help winning lucrative commercial rights to the FIFA (FEE'-fuh) World Cup and other tournaments.

The ex-presidents of national soccer federations in Paraguay, Peru and Brazil deny the accusations.

The trial has seen a juror dismissed for sleeping, a defendant accused of threatening a witness by running his fingers across his throat in a slicing motion and surprise testimony by one of the Jonas Brothers.

Mace says marketing firms knew that "to get a contract signed, they had to pay."

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