Cyprus Mail

Ex-FIFA exec detailed bribe-taking in 2013 secret guilty plea

Whistleblower: Chuck Blazer has admitted he and other FIFA members accepted bribes to vote for the 1998 and 2010 World Cups

A former executive committee member of football’s global governing body FIFA told a U.S. judge in November 2013 that he took bribes in connection with the 1998 and 2010 World Cups, among other major events.

Charles ‘Chuck’ Blazer, a U.S. citizen who spent two decades as one of the world’s most powerful football officials, secretly pleaded guilty to 10 criminal counts in New York as part of an agreement with U.S. prosecutors, according to a partially redacted transcript of the hearing released on Wednesday.

Blazer admitted: “During my association with FIFA and CONCACAF, among other things I and others agreed that I or a co-conspirator would commit at least two acts of racketeering activity.

“I agreed with others in or around 1992 to facilitate the acceptance of a bribe in conjunction with the selection of the host nation for the 1998 World Cup.
“I and others on the FIFA executive committee agreed to accept bribes in conjunction with the selection of South Africa as the host nation for the 2010 World Cup.”

According to U.S. officials, Blazer’s cooperation helped build a sprawling corruption case that has led to charges against top FIFA figures and helped prompt the resignation on Tuesday of long-time president Sepp Blatter.

In addition to serving as an executive committee member from 1997 to 2013, Blazer was also the general secretary of CONCACAF, football’s governing body in North and Central America and in the Caribbean, from 1990 to 2011.

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