4 Jun 2015

Chuck Blazer admits he and other FIFA committee members accepted bribes for World Cups

FIFA whistleblower Chuck Blazer has admitted taking bribes to vote for both the 1998 and 2010 World Cups.

The American also pleaded guilty to tax evasion and accepting bribes and kickbacks connected to five Gold Cups — the North and Central American confederation’s flagship tournament.

This damning admission of criminal activity on FIFA’s executive was contained in Blazer’s plea-bargain testimony given to the FBI in November 2013 but made public for the first time on Wednesday night.

It came just 24 hours after the resignation of FIFA president Sepp Blatter amid criminal investigations in America and Switzerland. The 2018 World Cup in Russia has also come under threat as the FBI are now investigating how the country was awarded the tournament, along with Qatar in 2022.

Part of Blazer’s evidence is redacted, suggesting further evidence involving the FIFA hierarchy is being kept back.
The 70-year-old, now seriously ill in a New York hospital with cancer and pneumonia, admits: ‘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.

‘I and others, while acting in our official capacities, agreed to participate in a scheme to defraud FIFA and CONCACAF of the right to honest services by taking undisclosed bribes.’
Blazer’s testimony shows that FIFA’s fraudsters tainted World Cups long before the 2018 and 2022 editions, which are currently being probed.

While the Qatar decision has been the subject of huge controversy since the ballot in 2010, Russia, who will have world football gathering in St Petersburg for the qualifying draw on July 25, has largely escaped suspicion.

But an FBI official has told Reuters that the World Cup bids would be part of the probe that is now going beyond the alleged $100million (£65m) worth of fraudulent activity by FIFA officials.

Credit: Charles Sale/SportsMail

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