The New York Daily News has a very thorough account of how former FIFA Executive Committee and top CONCACAF member, Chuck Blazer, became an informant for the FBI in order to gain information on possible crimes committed by other high members of FIFA. The entire article in the New York Daily News is informative and is a must read. In case you are limited in time and cannot read the entire report, we are here for you to cover the highlights.
Chuck Blazer became an informant due to his own legal issues with the FBI. It was discovered that Blazer didn’t pay taxes for over a decade, didn’t declare any income from 1992-1998 and misappropriated tens of millions of dollars through various illegal methods. CONCACAF also paid for a 49th floor Trump Tower apartment for Blazer’s “unruly cats” and a Hummer to use for travel around New York City. As of now, Blazer is currently suffering from colon cancer.
Qatari businessman and former Asian Confederation President, Mohammed bin Hammam, conspired with former CONCACAF President, Jack Warner, to bribe CONCACAF members with envelopes stuffed with $40k in order to replace Sepp Blatter as FIFA President. Once Blazer found out, covering his own tracks to avoid being banned himself, reported Warner to FIFA’s Ethics Committee. Warner resigned before FIFA could ban him for life, bin Hammam stayed put and was banned for life. Because of this act of betrayal, people close to Blazer believed Warner tipped him off to the FBI.
The FBI wanted Blazer to primarily focus on getting fraud and money laundering evidence from high members within FIFA. When he was in London for the 2012 Summer Olympics, Blazer invited FIFA members and people who were a part of bids from the 2018 and 2022 World Cups for meetings. A small microphone would be attached to a keychain. The FBI also obtained Blazer’s rolodex and targeted a total of 44 soccer executives, including Blatter, for their investigation.
Chuck Blazer is certainly a complex figure in US Soccer. On one hand, he was corrupt, didn’t pay taxes and took money illegally. On the other hand, he was instrumental in the USA getting the 1994 World Cup, the development of Women’s Soccer in this country and the lucrative TV deals for World Cup TV rights. If not for Blazer, US Soccer may not have been as big and powerful as it is right now. Now, as he’s avoiding jail time, he is trying to bring down others who have been corrupt in FIFA. I honestly don’t know if the FBI and Blazer’s work will result in people like Sepp Blatter to be removed from FIFA, but this will be their best shot yet.
In addition, feel free to check out Chuck Blazer’s personal website and blog. Both have a rather strange look to them and it reads as a cross between an informative look into the mind of a soccer executive and the mind of a teenage girl who loves to brag on Facebook about what famous people she has met so far.