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Joshua Franklin & Brian Homewood
09 Jul 2015 14:51
Chuck Blazer. (Reuters)
Former Fifa executive committee member Chuck Blazer, a key figure in a US investigation into corruption by soccer officials, on Thursday was banned for life from football activities by the
sport’s governing body.
Blazer, who in 2013 secretly pleaded guilty in the United States to bribery
and financial offences, was found by Fifa’s ethics committee to have breached
rules on loyalty, confidentiality, duty of disclosure, conflicts of interest,
offering and accepting gifts and bribery and corruption.
“Mr Blazer committed many and various acts of misconduct continuously
and repeatedly during his time as an official in different high-ranking and
influential positions at Fifa and Concacaf [which governs the sport in North
and Central America and the Caribbean],” the ethics committee said in
“In his positions as a football official, he was a key player in
schemes involving the offer, acceptance, payment and receipt of undisclosed and
illegal payments, bribes and kickbacks as well as other money-making
US-based lawyers for Blazer did not immediately respond to a request for
Through a 2013 US plea agreement, Blazer become a cooperating witness in
the US probe, which has engulfed Fifa and pressured the governing body’s
president, Sepp Blatter, to step down.
Blazer agreed to provide prosecutors information, turn over any documents he
possessed related to the probe, participate in undercover activities and
testify at trial.
The 70-year-old is now in hospital with rectal cancer, type 2
diabetes and coronary artery disease.
Blazer was on Fifa’s executive committee which awarded the 2018 and 2022
World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively, a process which is under
investigation by Swiss authorities.
Over the past years, as a critical spotlight has been increasingly turned on
the organsation and the awarding of World Cups, Fifa has handed down bans to a
number of officials.
Among them, Asian soccer chief Mohamed Bin Hammam was banned for life for
Fifa said on Monday Harold Mayne-Nicholls, who led the teams which inspected
bids for 2018 and 2022, was banned from all football for seven years. He said
on Twitter he would appeal.
Fifa has said it is cooperating with the investigations.
Qatar and Russia
deny wrongdoing and say they are preparing to hold the tournaments on schedule.
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