Chuck Blazer, the American General Secretary of CONCACAF, announced he is leaving his post at the end of the year, but will remain on FIFA’s Executive Committee. Blazer, 65, has been milking football for his personal profit and pleasure under the tutelage of CONCACAF and FIFA godfather Jack Warner for two decades. In the build up to the FIFA presidential election earlier in the year, Blazer blew the whistle on a cash-for-votes scheme that led to Blatter being reelected unopposed.
In August, it was also revealed that Blazer was under FBI investigation for tax evasion. Investigative reporter Andrew Jennings — the bane of FIFA crooks’ existence — has written about Blazer’s world of offshore accounts and football-funded lavish lifestyle. “His confidential contract reveals that he hires himself out from his Cayman-based company Sportvertising,” Jennings writes. “It also reveals that he pockets 10% in ‘commissions’ from regional football marketing deals. Last year he picked up nearly $2 million and over the last five years has taken $9.6 million. The sums are recorded in Concacaf accounts – which are not made public – under the heading of ‘Commissions’ – but with no indication he received them.”
A former CONCACAF employee in New York blogged in May about going out with Blazer to strip clubs in Manhattan. The General Secretary treated himself and his staff to “food, strippers, dancers, and massages” paid with “an American Express Card, with CONCACAF and Blazer’s name on it. [. . .] That’s what the General Secretary and Treasurer of CONCACAF, the FIFA Executive from North America, spent the region’s money on . . . regularly,” wrote Mel Brennan.
For Sunil Gulati, US Soccer president, however, “Chuck’s contributions to the sport over the last 30 years are unparalleled. All of us in Concacaf owe him a great debt of gratitude for his sustained efforts in helping to take the sport to where it is today. There is no doubt that he will continue to make an impact in whatever role he chooses.” For the good of the game: the saga continues.
For a quarter century Chuck Blazer was the most powerful soccer administrator in the United States and CONCACAF. He was a member of the FIFA Executive Committee from 1996 to 2013. Investigative journalist Andrew Jennings revealed in 2011 that Blazer was under FBI investigation for tax evasion. Thanks to a devastating, detailed report by The New York Daily News published this weekend, we now also know that Blazer became an FBI informant. (Click here for full text.)
In doing so, U.S. authorities sought to gain “a rare window into the shadowy financing of international soccer, a world notorious for its corruption and lavish excess,” the Daily News reports.
Blazer’s debauchery is legendary, as this blog has highlighted in the past. But the Daily News presented new evidence documenting how he “failed to pay income taxes for more than a decade while hauling in tens of millions of dollars, a discovery the feds used to threaten him with prosecution and convert him into a cooperating witness.” The newspaper provides fresh evidence of Blazer’s misallocation of funds and misuse of assets belonging to CONCACAF. He went so far as to run up $29 million in credit card charges. Damning proof, it is alleged, that Blazer was “intoxicated by power and cash.”
The 69-year-old soccer official, now dying of colon cancer, “lived like there was no tomorrow,” emboldened by global football administration’s modus operandi—one that makes “you feel like you’re the king of the world,” one source told the Daily News; “And it’s all for soccer.”
Addendum (11/6/2014): Listen to “Beyond The Pitch” podcast “dissect and tell the story behind the tale that is titled Mister Ten Percent, Chuck Blazer, a lengthy piece that digs deep into his background and explains how a soccer dad from New York rose to the dizzying heights of world football royalty, how he climbed the ladder armed with ambition and ingenuity and what led to his fall as fresh reports in New York media suggest that he is now cooperating with federal authorities.”