Chuck Blazer, Soccer Pioneer Turned Government Informant, Is Dead

  • Chuck Blazer, Soccer Pioneer Turned Government Informant, Is Dead

Chuck Blazer, Soccer Pioneer Turned Government Informant, Is Dead

The former Federation Internationale de Football Association executive committee member pleaded guilty in an American court to bribery and financial offences in November 2013.

Blazer, a former FIFA executive committee member, was himself banned for life from all football activities in 2015 for accepting bribes in conjunction with bids to host previous football World Cup contests.

A lawyer for Blazer confirmed his death in a statement saying the executive died following a prolonged battle with cancer. "His misconduct, for which he accepted full responsibility, should not obscure Chuck's positive impact on global soccer", Mulligan said in an emailed statement to CNN.

After starting his career in youth soccer in his home state of New York, Blazer joined U.S. Soccer in 1984 and was appointed General Secretary of CONCACAF in 1990.

Before the United States Department of Justice handed down the first of several indictments of corrupt soccer executives, the New York Daily News reported that Blazer was working as an informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Even if Blazer didn't record the defendants, prosecutors could have tried to "call him to testify generally about the ways and means of the corrupt practices, as pseudo-corruption expert, " Heaphy said. "With Chuck's guidance and leadership, CONCACAF transformed itself from impoverished to profitable".

At the same time, one can not deny the black mark Chuck Blazer put on U.S. Soccer, FIFA and the sport of soccer.

The report said he had received more than $20.6 million in commissions, fees and rental payments from the organisation between 1996 and 2011. Blazer was arrested for wire fraud, money laundering and tax evasion and took a plea deal to avoid racketeering. "Chuck also accepted responsibility for his own conduct by pleading guilty and owning up to his mistakes".

At Blazer's urging, U.S. Soccer got serious about growing the sport via the national men's team, which had played just two matches between 1981 and 1983 but played 19 in the two years that followed Blazer's election.

United States national team coach Bruce Arena said: "I've known Chuck for a lot of years".

"Chuck felt profound sorrow and regret for his actions", his attorneys said Wednesday.

Blazer was appointed secretary general and despite inheriting a largely moribund organization with little money, launched the Gold Cup in 1991, the confederation's biennial nations championship that eventually generated tens of millions of dollars.