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Motion to Dismiss Filed in CONMEBOL Case

July 18, 2017 | David M. Levine, David P. Milian, Juan J. RodriguezArticles

A recent article in Law360 reports on a motion to dismiss filed by Carey Rodriguez Milian Gonya LLP on behalf of the South American Football Confederation, CONMEBOL, in GolTV Inc. et al. v. Fox Sports Latin America Ltd. et al. in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. 

The motion to dismiss was filed in a case involving a longstanding crusade by plaintiff GolTV to secure exclusive and lucrative rights to air South American soccer matches. GolTV, which claims to have bid far more than competitor Fox Sports Latin America for the rights to the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana tournaments, alleges it did not receive the contracts because its competitor, Fox Sports, paid secret bribes to CONMEBOL executives in exchange for the rights. 

CRMG partners Juan Rodriguez, David Milian, and David Levine noted in the motion to dismiss that the actions GolTV accuses CONMEBOL of taking would have cost the Confederation enormous amounts of potential revenue, and that the only beneficiaries of the scheme would have been the individual executives who received the illegal bribes. The motion further points out that GolTV’s complaint and federal criminal indictments handed down in the Eastern District of New York cast CONMEBOL as a victim of the bribe scheme while at the same time GolTV seeks to recover millions of dollars in what amounts to a “blame the victim” theory of liability.

GolTV, the defendants note, never actually submitted the bids in question and has joined the prosecution solely in order to bring the suit in a US court. The motion to dismiss includes background on the plaintiff's well-documented motives for doing so. 

“GolTV and its owner [Francisco Casal], a notorious firebrand in Uruguayan soccer, are attempting to enlist the United States courts in a decades-old turf war over the spoils of South America’s favorite sport,” CONMEBOL wrote. “Literally, books have been written about the bitter struggles for power and money, including crises within CONMEBOL attributed to interference by Casal, and charges against Casal by the Uruguayan government, some of which ironically have involved allegations that Casal improperly locked competitors out of bidding against one of his companies for television rights to Uruguayan soccer association games — allegations similar to those that Casal’s companies now make in this case.”

Read the full article on Law360 here.