Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 6th 2014 Contents A57
Thursday, March 6, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
ZURICH---FIFA has sanctioned
five clubs from Argentina and
Uruguay for illegal international
The case involved so-called
"bridge transfers" where clubs col-
laborate to park players with a team
before they quickly move on with-
out ever playing a match.
FIFA said yesterday that its dis-
ciplinary panel punished
Uruguayan club Sud America with
a one-year transfer embargo and
a 40,000 Swiss franc (US$45,000)
The club played a "central role
in the bridge transfer scheme," FIFA
said in a statement.
Sud America signed six players
in 2012 who never played for the
first team before being transferred
to clubs in Argentina. Five of the
six initially moved on loan.
FIFA said the clubs "acted in bad
faith by deliberately conducting
transfers for non-sporting purpos-
es."Argentine clubs Central Cordoba
and Independiente were each fined
50,000 Swiss francs (US$56,000),
Rosario Central was fined 20,000
Swiss francs (US$22,500) and Rac-
ing Club was fined 15,000 Swiss
The clubs can appeal their sanc-
FIFA investigated using details
that clubs must file through the
online system processing cross-
border transfers, which is managed
by a subsidiary of football s gov-
FIFA made the Transfer Match-
ing System mandatory in 2010 to
help curb financial wrongdoing and
monitor involvement of agents act-
ing for clubs and players.
FIFA did not identify the players
or the original selling clubs
involved, which did not face dis-
Five of the players were nationals
of Argentina and one was from
Former Sevilla president
Del Nido jailed
Former Sevilla president Jose
Maria del Nido began serving a
seven-year jail sentence yesterday.
Spanish reports suggested Del
Nido voluntarily submitted to his
jail sentence after learning a Malaga
court would not grant him the par-
don he was seeking to avoid incar-
The 56-year-old Del Nido was
found guilty in December 2011 of
corruption charges and of embezzling
funds in the southern Spanish town
of Marbella, and was ordered to pay
2.7 million euros (then-US$3.5 mil-
lion) for his role as a lawyer in the
corruption ring from 1999-2003.
Del Nido presided over the most
successful period in Sevilla club his-
tory with a pair of UEFA Cups
among the trophies won since his
arrival in 2002 as president and a
major shareholder. (AP)
PRETORIA---A month before he
fatally shot his girlfriend, Oscar
Pistorius cajoled a friend into taking
the blame when a gun was acci-
dentally fired under the Johannes-
burg restaurant table where he and
other friends were sitting, accord-
ing to testimony yesterday in the
double-amputee runner s murder
" Just say it was you. I don t want
any tension around me, " witness
Kevin Lerena remembered Pistorius
telling a friend. " There s too much
media hype around me. "
The testimony by Lerena, a boxer,
raises questions about the character
of a man who insists he accidentally
killed Reeva Steenkamp in his home
in the early hours of February 14 last
year. Prosecutors allege he inten-
tionally shot 29-year-old Steenkamp,
a model and television personality,
after a loud argument.
Lerena was the first witness in
the globally watched trial, which
started Monday, to allow himself to
be broadcast on television under a
judge s order allowing cameras into
the courtroom but preserving the
right of some witnesses not to be
shown. The boxer wore a suit and
leaned forward with an intent
expression as he answered lawyers
His testimony about the restaurant
shooting was a reminder of how 27-
year-old Pistorius, who ran for South
Africa in the 2012 Olympics, once
commanded respect among his
peers. The boxer described Pistorius
as "an icon and a legend in sport"
and said he sought advice from the
runner about diet and running.
The episode occurred during a
busy lunchtime at Tashas restaurant
in the swank Melrose Arch area of
Johannesburg in January 2013, and
relates to three firearms-related
charges against Pistorius, in addition
to the murder charge. Pistorius
pleaded not guilty to all four charges.
One friend, Darren Fresco, passed
his gun to Pistorius under the table
and told him that there was a bullet
in the chamber, Lerena said. Then
a shot went off, puncturing the floor
near Lerena s foot, he said.
"There was just complete silence,"
said Lerena, who described being in
shock and having blood where his
toe was grazed in the incident. Then,
he said, Pistorius apologised, saying:
"Are you OK? Is everybody OK?"
Before the restaurant management
approached the table, Lerena said,
Pistorius asked Fresco to say he was
responsible for the gunshot.
Lerena said they paid the bill and
left the restaurant and he never spoke
about the incident. Two days after
Pistorius shot Steenkamp, he said,
he woke up to find over 100 missed
calls on his telephone as media from
around the world tried to contact
him to ask about the gun incident.
Chief defense lawyer Barry Roux
attempted to establish it was noisy
in the restaurant, which the manager
testified was full with over 200 cus-
tomers, and that Pistorius did not
hear Fresco say the gun was "one-
up" --- or that there was a bullet in
the chamber --- when he passed it.
But Lerena s testimony that Pis-
torius asked a friend to "take the
rap" wasn t challenged.
"He did say, Fresco, take the
blame because this could be big, "
Lerena said in court.
The wife of the restaurant man-
ager also said in her brief testimony
that the shot went off near to where
a child was sitting.
Earlier yesterday, Roux sought to
undermine the prosecution testi-
mony of a couple who say they heard
a woman s screams and gunfire the
night that Pistorius killed Steenkamp.
Telephone records will show that
the banging sounds the neighbors
heard were not gunshots but a dis-
tressed Pistorius breaking down the
toilet door with a cricket bat after
realizing he had shot Steenkamp
when she was in the toilet, thinking
it was an intruder, Roux asserted.
Throwing doubt on the witnesses
recollection of the sequence in the
early hours is crucial for Pistorius
defense after the state maintained
there was a loud argument on the
night he shot Steenkamp through a
door in his bathroom and the
screams and shouts were before a
gun was fired.
The runner s defense team wants
to show the screams were Pistorius
calling for help after the accidental
killing and before he used the bat
on the door.
Pistorius was born without fibula
bones because of a congenital defect
and his legs were amputated when
he was 11 months old. He ran on
carbon-fiber blades and is a multiple
Paralympic medalist. He also com-
peted at the London Olympics but
didn t win a medal. (AP)
Oscar Pistorius is escorted outside court during a recess on the third day of
his trial at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, yesterday, Pistorius is
charged with murder for the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva
Steenkamp, on Valentine's Day last year. AP PHOTO
FIFA punishes 5 South American clubs for illegal deals
Fans of Uruguay's Nacional soccer team cheer before a Copa Libertadores soccer match with Argentina's Newell's
Old Boys in Rosario, Argentina, on February 27. AP PHOTO
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