After admitting to years of corruption and bribery as a high-ranking FIFA official, American Chuck Blazer has been banned from soccer for life.
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For so long Blazer, 70, was the most senior official in American soccer as he sat on the FIFA Executive Committee for 16 years until 2013 and was CONCACAF’s General Secretary, but now he has been banned from “taking part in any kind of football-related activity at national and international level for life.”
Wild tales about how he has two apartments at Trump Tower in Manhattan, one was just for his cats, his love for wearing fancy-dress costumes and how he gorged himself on fine foods (allegedly all on the CONCACAF tab) have become folklore, but Blazer will now never be welcome in the soccer world.
We all knew this was going to happen, right?
Blazer’s guilty plea to racketeering and tax evasion charges — he pleaded guilty to 10 counts which included racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering conspiracies and income tax evasion — were made public in May by the United States federal agencies and it was revealed he has been working as an informant in the FBI’s investigation into long-term corruption at FIFA since 2011. Blazer also revealed that he took payments to endorse South Africa’s 2010 World Cup bid, plus took plenty of kickbacks from ticket and commercials deals through his power as a leading member of CONCACAF alongside former disgraced FIFA vice president Jack Warner.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has since announced he will resign, as the alleged corruption Blazer was at the center of has brought shame on FIFA.
In a statement on FIFA’s website, their ethics committee had the following to say:
“The decision was taken on the basis of investigations carried out by the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee in response to the final report of the CONCACAF Integrity Committee and the latest facts presented by the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
“Mr Blazer committed many and various acts of misconduct continuously and repeatedly during his time as an official in different high-ranking and influential positions at FIFA and CONCACAF. In his positions as a football official, he was a key player in schemes involving the offer, acceptance, payment and receipt of undisclosed and illegal payments, bribes and kickbacks as well as other money-making schemes.”