Corrupt former Federation Internationale de Football Association official Chuck Blazer dies aged 72, lawyer confirms

14 July, 2017, 00:47 | Author: Gladys Mathis
  • FIFA executive member Chuck Blazer attends the 61st FIFA congress at the Hallenstadion in Zurich

Blazer, who ran a business that mostly made political campaign buttons and claimed to have invented the "smiley face" button, began his soccer career as the youth coach of his son Jason's soccer team in New Rochelle, N.Y., in the mid-1970s although having never played the game.

The Queens native previously served as both general secretary for the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football - of which the US national soccer team is a part of - and a USA representative on the Fédération Internationale de Football Association executive committee.

Chuck Blazer, the man who made millions promoting global soccer before becoming a key figure in a worldwide corruption case, has died at age 72, according to his lawyer. According to a transcript of his guilty plea, Blazer and others in Federation Internationale de Football Association agreed to accept bribes in the bidding process for the 1998 World Cup in France and the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

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.

Blazer pleaded guilty in November 2013 to one count each of racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and willful failure to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, and to six counts of tax evasion.

Blazer's NY lawyer, Mary Mulligan confirmed his death.

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"At one moment, he looked at me with a very serious gaze and said, without cracking a smile, "You know, you look like Karl Marx!"

Those barely existent TV deals soon exploded into contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and Blazer's opportunity for enrichment only grew when he was elected to FIFA's ruling executive committee in 1996, a position he held for 17 years.

At one point, Chuck had a $6,000 a month apartment at Trump Tower, exclusively for his cats, reports The Washington Post. He did a lot for the sport.

It said he "accepted responsibility for his own conduct by pleading guilty and owning up to his mistakes".

"Chuck felt profound sorrow and regret for his actions". The only acknowledgement of Blazer's death by U.S. Soccer was a comment in a news conference by national team coach Bruce Arena.

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