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Protesters carry a sign behind former Brazilian National Football Federation president Jose Maria Marin as he arrives on November 8, 2017 at Brooklyn Federal Courthouse in New York. (Photo credit: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

News Americas, MIAMI, FL, Fri. Nov. 10, 2017: Jury selection at federal court in Brooklyn, NY in the corruption trial of three South American former FIFA executives began Thursday. Twelve jurors and six alternates were selected at the FIFA corruption trial.

US prosecutors are expected to present 350,000 pages of evidence and dozens of witnesses against Jose Maria Marin, 85, former president of Brazil’s Football Confederation; former FIFA vice-president Juan Angel Napout, 59, and former one-time FIFA development committee member Manuel Burga, who led football in Peru until 2014.

The worst counts against them carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail. A US jury will decide their fate. If convicted, they will be sentenced by Judge Pamela Chen.

Guatemalan former football official Hector Trujillo was sentenced last month to eight months, and British-Greek accountant Costas Takkas to 15 months, 10 of which he has already served. The other 22 await sentencing including Jeffrey Webb of the Cayman Islands, who admitted to receiving more than US$6 million in bribes.

The final 15 defendants remain in their home countries, fighting extradition to the United States including former FIFA vice-president, Trinidadian Jack Warner, who was suspended for life by the FIFA ethnics committee.

So Much For The West Indies Tour Of Pakistan

The West Indies cricket side this week had to kiss their tour of Pakistan goodbye. The Windies were set to tour Pakistan later this month through December but the tour has been called off due to smog in Lahore

“The West Indies series has been postponed until next year for a number of reasons,” a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official told The Express Tribune. “The main reason is that weather conditions in Lahore right now make it impossible for cricket to take place. Even domestic matches for the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam Trophy have been disturbed so the PCB have decided to delay the series.”

But Dunya News reports say sources revealed that six West Indian players including Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo had refused to visit Pakistan for the tour games despite the successful Sri Lanka T20 game which was played at the Gaddafi Stadium.

…. Windies Now Set For New Zealand

Meanwhile, a little-changed West Indies side will play two Tests against New Zealand in December.

Captain Jason Holder will lead a 15-man squad featuring one change from the group who beat Zimbabwe 1-0 in the recently-completed two-match Test series in Bulawayo.

The full squad is: Jason Holder (capt), Kraigg Brathwaite, Sunil Ambris, Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kieran Powell, Raymon Reifer and Kemar Roach.

The Tests are in Wellington (December 1-5) and Hamilton (December 9-13), followed by a three-match ODI series, and three T20Is, finishing early in the New Year.

Maradona’s Love Fest With Maduro

Former Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona seems to be having a love fest with Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro much to the chagrin of many.

Maradona voiced fervent support for Maduro as he signed up this week to work for Caracas-based Telesur TV during next year’s World Cup in Russia.

“I am here to give my support to Nicolas … long live Maduro,!” the 57-year-old Maradona said after a kickaround with the Venezuelan president late on Tuesday.

A beaming Maduro, 54, gave Maradona a photo of his predecessor Hugo Chavez with the former player, as well as a Venezuelan national team shirt.

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