FIFA Executive Chuck Blazer Has Died

Randall Padilla
July 14, 2017

In 2009, Guardian journalist David Conn first encountered Chuck Blazer at a luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi, where Blazer was overseeing that year's Club World Cup as a member of FIFA's executive committee.

The Queens native previously served as both general secretary for the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football - of which the US national soccer team is a part of - and a USA representative on the Fédération Internationale de Football Association executive committee.

After pleading guilty to bribery, money laundering and tax evasion in 2013, he struck a deal with U.S. prosecutors and went undercover to expose the organisation. "In fact, he devoted 30 years of his life to soccer at all levels of the game, with his involvement ranging from coaching his children's youth teams to serving on Fifa's executive committee". He reportedly had one apartment in Trump Tower for himself and another just for his cats.

"Chuck hoped to help bring transparency, accountability and fair play to CONCACAF, FIFA and soccer as a whole", his lawyers said in a statement announcing his death.

Blazer urged Jack Warner to run for president of CONCACAF in 1990.

Indeed, a CONCACAF investigation report released a few years ago revealed Blazer, who was later banned for life by Federation Internationale de Football Association, had "misappropriated CONCACAF funds to finance his personal lifestyle", causing the organisation to "subsidise rent on his residence in the Trump Tower in NY; purchase apartments at the Mondrian, a luxury hotel and residence in Miami; sign purchase agreements and pay down payments on apartments at the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas".

He cooperated. His then-domestic partner, Mary Lynn Blanks, told Reuters in a 2016 article that she accompanied Blazer to soccer-related events while he was acting as an informant for United States investigators, sometimes wearing a bugging device.

The statement continued: "Chuck felt profound sorrow and regret for his action". When the Trinidadian won, he made Blazer the general secretary. "With Chuck's guidance and leadership, CONCACAF transformed itself from impoverished to profitable".

Banned US football official was at the centre of a global corruption scandal that toppled ex-FIFA boss Sepp Blatter.

A separate CONCACAF investigation report released in 2013 said Blazer "misappropriated CONCACAF funds to finance his personal lifestyle", causing the organization to "subsidize rent on his residence in the Trump Tower in NY; purchase apartments at the Mondrian, a luxury hotel and residence in Miami; sign purchase agreements and pay down payments on apartments at the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas".

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

"I've known Chuck for a lot of years". He did a lot for the sport.

USA national team coach Bruce Arena was asked about Blazer's death following the Americans' 3-2 Gold Cup win over Martinique and told reporters: "I'm sorry for the passing of Chuck Blazer". "But he was a good man".

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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