News 28th October 2016

CONMEBOL launches legal action to reclaim US$18 million from ISM

CONMEBOL has lodged legal action with the Courts of New York to recover US$18 million in commission paid to International Sports Marketing (ISM) over the last 20 years, as well as terminate its agreement for ISM to market the title sponsorship of its Copa Libertadores tournament. CONMEBOL launched the legal action in response to the US Department of Justice’s (DoJ) May 2015 47-count indictment against 14 individuals.

‘In the lawsuit, CONMEBOL emphasises that the owner of ISM has admitted to the US Justice system paying bribes to former Directors of the confederation in exchange for the granting of and/or extending of marketing rights owned by CONMEBOL’, read a statement. ‘Consequently, CONMEBOL asks the court to confirm the validity of its decision to terminate the contract with ISM for marketing rights to the title sponsorship of the Copa Libertadores’. The lawsuit also claims damages for ‘at least $18 million’ paid in marketing rights fees to ISM by CONMEBOL.

The action will mark the first of several launched in the coming weeks, added the Latin American football confederation’s Legal Director, Monserrat Jimenez. It is understood that the action is part of the CONMEBOL reform agenda originally agreed in July 2015, but extended by Alejandro Dominguez, who was elected to Chair CONMEBOL in January this year. CONMEBOL will be represented by Robert Amsterdam of Amsterdam & Partners LLP and Dewey Pegno & Kamarksy LLP.

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