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With marketing firm in FIFA scandal out of picture, U.S.-hosted Copa America back on track

Eugenio Figueredo, former President of Conmebol, during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Eugenio Figueredo, former President of Conmebol, during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.  (2014 Getty Images)

The proposed Copa America Centenario in the United States could get back on track after soccer's governing bodies for both South America and for North and Central America and the Caribbean announced they have ended their relationships with the marketing company Datisa.

U.S. federal prosecutors said in May that CONMEBOL, South America's governing body, reached an agreement in 2013 with Datisa, a newly created company, on a $240 million contract for rights to the Copa America in 2015, 2019 and 2023. They said CONMEBOL agreed the following year to a $112.5 million deal for the 2016 Copa America Centenario.

After an indictment was unsealed against 14 soccer executives and marketing officials – including former CONMEBOL president, Eugenio Figueredo of Uruguay – prosecutors said as part of its deals Datisa agreed to pay $110 million in bribes to South American soccer officials.

CONMEBOL said Wednesday its commercial rights contract related to Copa America Centenario has been terminated.

CONCACAF said it ended its relationship with Datisa "in connection" with the Copa America Centennario rights agreement signed on March 4 last year. CONCACAF said it had been reassigned those rights.

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In a statement not attributed to anyone in CONCACAF by name, CONCACAF said it will select new partners to sell the commercial rights along with CONMEBOL and local operating partners, which CONCACAF did not identify.

CONCACAF also said the new partners will be selected in a "new and transparent process." It did not announce any details of the process.

CONCACAF spokesman Jurgen Mainka did not return a telephone call seeking comment.

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