Chuck Blazer, former CONCACAF General Secretary and Executive Vice President of the US Soccer Federation, Chuck Blazer has admitted that he and other FIFA officials accepted bribes over a decade-long FIFA rights selections, including the 1998 and 2010 World Cup hosting rights.
Blazer, who has collaborated with the Department of Justice to single out other FIFA officials in connection to the current scandal, told the Eastern District New York Court that he and others on FIFA’s executive committee agreed to take bribes from South Africa in relation to the country’s World Cup bid. He also admitted to taking bribes in connection with France’s 1998 World Cup bid.
“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.”
In the document tendered to the court on case number 1:13-cr-00602-RJD, U.S.A Vs Charles Blazer, the embattled ex-CONCACAF scribe admitted to a prolonged orchestra of bribery and corruption over series of FIFA hosting rights.
His disclosure read in parts: “Beginning in 1993 and continuing through the 2000s, I and others agreed to accept bribes and kick-backs in conjunction with broadcasts and other rights to the 1996, 1998, 2002 and 2003 Gold cups. Beginning in around 2004 and continuing through 2011, I and others on FIFA executive committee agreed to accept bribe in conjunction with the selection of South Africa as the host nation of 2010 World Cup.”
Blazer’s disclosure opens yet a Pandora Box over FIFA corruption saga which has already forced Sepp Blatter to abandon his fifth term mandate with over a dozen other top FIFA chiefs, both current and former, facing prosecution for their participation in the messy awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosting rights to Russia and Qatar, respectively.
And it came on the heels of South African government’s denial that it offered bribes to FIFA top shots in the wake of its successful bidding for 2010 World Cup hosting rights.
By Olisemeka Obeche