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FIFA Expels Chuck Blazer for Life Over Corruption

 

The ethics panel said the American “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 schemes”.

Blazer’s guilty pleas on widespread corruption charges were unsealed by the US Department of Justice in May. He was a co-operating witness with US federal agencies from 2011 after his tax affairs were investigated.

Fifa’s ethics committee said its case used “the latest facts presented by the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York”. Blazer who served on Fifa’s executive panel for 16 years until 2013.

The life ban from football duty was a formality after Blazer’s guilty plea to racketeering and tax evasion charges.

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He pleaded guilty to 10 counts including racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and income tax evasion.

He had risen to power as general secretary of Concacaf, the regional football body governing North and Central America and the Caribbean, alongside its disgraced former president Jack Warner.

Fifa opened an ethics investigation against Blazer after the corrupt financial management of Concacaf was exposed in 2012.

The Fifa proceedings were suspended in 2013 due to Blazer’s ill-health and while the US federal case developed.

Blazer, now 70, told a Brooklyn court that year that he had been treated for rectal cancer.

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He forfeited more than 1.9 million dollars (£1.2 million) at the time of his plea and has agreed to pay more when he is sentenced.

Blazer’s life story could be made into a Hollywood film. The rights to an upcoming book of his football administration career were bought last month.

 

Source: Belfast Telegraph

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