Reynaldo Vasquez has been sentenced to 16 months in prison for racketeering ©Getty Images

Reynaldo Vasquez, the former President of the Salvadoran Football Federation (FESFUT), has been given a 16-month prison sentence in the United States for accepting bribes from television companies in exchange for broadcast rights to El Salvador's matches.

Vasquez, who pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy over a scandal which saw himself and other officials receive a more than of $350,000 (£314,000/€357,000) in bribes, was sentenced at a federal court in Brooklyn by US District Judge Pamela Chen.

Vasquez was finally extradited to the US from El Salvador last year, having been indicted in 2015, and pleaded guilty in August 2021.

The conviction relates to accepting a bribe in 2012 from Miami-based Media World, which manages rights for Spanish-speaking broadcasters.

In exchange for the money, Vasquez and his team handed over rights for the El Salvador men's national team's 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and friendly matches.

Rights to El Salvador's football matches sold in exchange for bribes ©Getty Images
Rights to El Salvador's football matches sold in exchange for bribes ©Getty Images

The bribe was wired from a sports marketing company bank account in the US.

"The defendant and his co-conspirators, motivated by greed, disgraced themselves by lining their pockets with hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes, at the expense of a beautiful sport, El Salvador's soccer federation, and the community it served," said Breon Peace, US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, in response to the sentence.

"Vasquez has now been held to account, like the many other corrupt soccer officials who have been exposed by the Government's investigation."

Vasquez led FESFUT between 2009 and 2011 and in 2019 was banned for life by FIFA and fined CHF 500,000 (£458,000/$511,000/€521,000) after its Ethics Committee found him guilty of bribery.

Vasquez's sentencing is part of a larger investigation into FIFA corruption in the US, which has led to 27 individual guilty pleas, 4 corporate guilty pleas and two convictions at trial.