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Ex-soccer chief pleads guilty to bribery

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A former Costa Rican soccer federation president who was arrested last year in FIFA's corruption scandal has pleaded guilty, admitting he took hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes.

Eduardo Li admitted charges including wire fraud and racketeering conspiracy.

Li said that while serving as president of Costa Rica's soccer federation, he received bribes in connection with awarding contracts for media and marketing rights for matches and for sponsoring team uniforms.

"I knew that it was wrong of me to accept such undisclosed payments," Li said through a Spanish interpreter.

The 57-year-old is one of 42 individuals and entities charged as part of a US investigation that has rocked FIFA and the soccer world.

He was among seven soccer officials taken into custody in a dawn raid on a Zurich luxury hotel in May 2015.

Prosecutors allege Li and others engaged in schemes involving more than $US200 million ($A264 million) in bribes and kickbacks that were sought and received by soccer officials for marketing and broadcasting rights to tournaments and matches.

Seventeen people and two sports marketing companies have pleaded guilty.

In court on Friday, Li said he agreed to accept a $US500,000 bribe, of which $US300,000 ($A395,400) he actually received, to award a Miami-based unit of Brazilian sports marketing firm Traffic Group media and marketing rights for 2022 World Cup qualifier matches.

He also accepted bribes from someone in Florida in connection with friendly matches he organised, and embezzled $US90,000 ($A118,620) meant to support the 2014 Under 17 FIFA Women's World Cup soccer tournament in Costa Rica.

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