Chuck Blazer, the man who made shocking revelations about corruption within FIFA ranks, has died at the age of 72. He battled cancer for a few years before losing the fight.
Blazer was responsible for the sack of more than a dozen top management officials of the global football governing body, including past and present members.
Image shows ex-FIFA president Sepp Blatter and Chuck Blazer.
Top on the long list of indicted FIFA officials was ex-president Sepp Blatter, who lost his position due to the widely publicized financial mismanagement and racketeering scandal.
Blazer’s lawyers announced his death on Wednesday.
“We are truly saddened by the passing of our client and friend, Chuck Blazer,” the official statement from his lawyers reads. “His misconduct, for which he accepted full responsibility, should not obscure Chuck’s positive impact on international soccer.”
The deceased was an Executive Vice President of the U.S. Soccer Federation.
A report from the New York Times said he died of colorectal cancer at a hospital in New Jersey. He also battled diabetes and coronary artery disease before his death.
U.S. national team coach Bruce Arena hailed Blazer’s “selfless” contributions to regional and global football development.
“I’ve known Chuck for a lot of years,” said Bruce. “He did a lot for the sport. Sorry about all the issues regarding FIFA, but he was a good man. He helped the sport in the United States.”
The deceased gracefully served as Secretary-General, Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) from 1990 to 2011.
Part of the allegations against Blazer tracks back to his former position as head of CONCAAF. Although he made great efforts to improve football within North and South America, his involvement with FIFA regrettably tainted his near-perfect image.
He served as FIFA’s Executive Committee Member between 1997 to 2013.
It was during his tenure as a FIFA executive that Blazer allegedly received illegal funds as fees and commissions. He pleaded guilty to the offense, thereby dragging other corrupt officials in the mud.
On July 9, 2015 the football body banned him from all football activities for life.
Image: Chuck Blazer
In his plea agreement, Blazer confessed to playing a part in the scandalous 1998 World Cup in France as well as the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Part of the agreement included his willingness to disclose details of all financial crimes within FIFA ranks. He complied with the US authorities all through their investigations which brought Blatter down for corruption.
“Blazer breached rules on loyalty, confidentiality, duty of disclosure, conflicts of interest, offering and accepting gifts, and bribery and corruption,” FIFA Ethics Committee wrote at the time of his conviction.
The New York Post added in its report that Blazer owned two apartments at Trump Tower in Manhattan. Surprisingly, one of the apartments served as home to his pets — he had so much love for pets, while the other was for his private use.
“The long-time soccer power broker had an enormous appetite for luxury meals, luxury travel, and, according to federal authorities, corrupt self-enrichment,” the news outlet shared on Twitter.
Left to mourn him are his numerous grandchildren, an ex-wife Susan Blazer, and two sons.
Talking about his memorable visit to Russia, and a once-in-a-lifetime meeting with Vladimir Putin, the deceased wrote in his travel memo: “At one moment, he [Putin] looked at me with a very serious gaze and said, without cracking a smile, ‘You know, you look like Karl Marx!'”
What then can we say about this man, Blazer, who has so much written and said about him? May you find peace wherever death leads.