Paris (AFP)

The US Department of Justice has awarded the Fifa Foundation $ 201 million (EUR 171 million) in compensation for wrongdoing committed by former world football leaders, the International Football Federation (Fifa) announced on Tuesday.

This compensation essentially pays the American component of "Fifagate" which broke out in May 2015 with the spectacular arrest of seven world football leaders in Zurich and which led a few months later to the departure of Sepp Blatter, president of the Fifa since 1998.

FIFA President Switzerland Sepp Blatter at a press conference on May 30, 2015 at headquarters in Zurich FABRICE COFFRINI AFP / Archives

"These funds were taken from the bank accounts of the officials involved and prosecuted for acts of corruption", explained in its press release the Fifa, specifying that this sum will be used to finance "the football projects having a positive community impact on the global scale ".

"I am delighted to see that the money of which football had been illegally plundered is coming back to him today to be used wisely, as it should always have been the case," said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. , cited in the press release.

The president of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), the Italo-Swiss Gianni Infantino, during the closing of the executive council, January 10, 2017 at the headquarters in Zurich Michael BUHOLZER AFP / Archives

The case concerned a system of bribes and "racketeering" organized by football officials in South and Central America, in exchange for the allocation of TV broadcasting rights to competitions, including the Copa America.

Educated in the United States, the "Fifagate" notably resulted in the conviction to nine years in prison of Paraguayan Juan Angel Napout, former president of the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) and to four years in prison of Brazilian José Maria Marin, former leader of the Brazilian Federation.

The former president of the Brazilian Football Federation, Jose Maria Marin, and the president of Conmebol, Paraguayan Juan Angel Napout, two of the seven leaders accused, since 2015, of corruption and "racketeering" in exchange for the attribution of TV broadcasting rights for competitions, including the Copa America - AFP / Archives

American justice continues to investigate world football, in particular the attribution of the World Cup-2022 to Qatar and suspicions of vote buying.

./jr/bpa

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