Infamous former Federation Internationale de Football Association executive Chuck Blazer dies

Chuck Blazer a pivotal figure in the corruption scandal which convulsed FIFA in 2015 has died after battling lung cancer

Blazer, who was born on April 26, 1945, in New York City, began as a volunteer soccer administrator to rise to the highest echelons of power within the sport. During this time the US, which had only meekly embraced soccer in the past, was awarded its first ever World Cup in 1994.

Chuck Blazer, who rose from suburban soccer dad to become the most powerful American in worldwide soccer - only to end his reign pleading guilty to corruption and being the key witness that engulfed the sport, died Wednesday night after a long illness. He admitted to sharing in a $10 million bribe scheme with others to support South Africa's bid for the 2010 World Cup, and facilitating a kickback linked to Morocco's failed bid for the 1998 World Cup.

In the last few years of Blazer's life, he went from soccer bigwig to undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation informant tasked with helping the U.S. Department of Justice take down Federation Internationale de Football Association bigwigs for allegedly taking payments in exchange for their votes on where the World Cup and other worldwide tournaments would take place - something Blazer admitted to doing as well. When the Trinidadian won, he made Blazer the general secretary - a position he held until 2011.

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.

In a statement announcing his death, Blazer's lawyers understandably attempted to paint as positive a picture of his contribution as possible. There he joined forces with Jack Warner, a Trinidadian schoolteacher whom he helped get elected as CONCACAF president, with Blazer serving as his secretary general.




USA national team coach Bruce Arena was asked about Blazer's death following the Americans' 3-2 Gold Cup win over Martinique and told reporters: "I'm sorry for the passing of Chuck Blazer. His misconduct, for which he accepted full responsibility, should not obscure Chuck's positive impact on global soccer", the statement read.

"I've known Chuck for a lot of years".

The statement continued: "Chuck felt profound sorrow and regret for his action".

CONCACAF accused Blazer of misusing confederation funds to pay for his Trump Tower apartment, residences in Miami where the organization had a satellite office, vacation homes in the Caribbean and a H2 Hummer.

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