Federation Internationale de Football Association whistleblower dies aged 72

Chelsea West
July 14, 2017

Chuck Blazer, the man who made millions promoting global soccer before becoming a key figure in a worldwide corruption case, has died at age 72, according to his lawyer.

American businessman Blazer first became involved in football administration in the 1970s, eventually serving as vice-president for the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and later General Secretary of CONCACAF after managing Jack Warner's presidency campaign.

By December 2011, US federal law enforcement officials approached Blazer on the street outside Trump Tower and presented him with their evidence of his tax evasion and wire fraud, including Caribbean bank accounts and other malfeasance.

At Blazer's urging, U.S. Soccer got serious about growing the sport via the national men's team, which had played just two matches between 1981 and 1983 but played 19 in the two years that followed Blazer's election. He reportedly had one apartment in Trump Tower for himself and another just for his cats.

Blazer's lawyers Eric Corngold and Mary Mulligan announced his death on Wednesday.

Warner continues to fight extradition from his native Trinidad and Tobago but even he is not the highest-profile figure to have been directly or indirectly affected by Blazer's evidence.

In 2015, the same year that his testimony and admittance of accepting bribes with other FIFA Executive Committee members became public knowledge after a sealed transcript was formally unsealed, he was banned by FIFA from all football activities for life.

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He helped develop the game in the USA and then across his confederation.

The statement continued: "Chuck felt profound sorrow and regret for his action".

At a November 2013 court hearing where his treatment for rectal cancer, diabetes and coronary artery disease was disclosed, Blazer entered 10 guilty pleas. When the Trinidadian won, he made Blazer the general secretary - a position he held until 2011.

A 2013 report by Concacaf's integrity committee said he had received more than $20.6m (£16m) in commissions, fees and rental payments from the organization between 1996 and 2011. "With Chuck's guidance and leadership, CONCACAF transformed itself from impoverished to profitable".

"We are truly saddened by the passing of our client and friend, Chuck Blazer".

"I've known Chuck for a lot of years. Sorry about all the issues regarding FIFA", Arena said.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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