Former FIFA offical, Chuck Blazer, dies aged 72

Former FIFA offical, Chuck Blazer, dies aged 72

Blazer swept up evidence that formed the foundations of a Department of Justice case against world soccer executives who embezzled cash from commercial contracts and sought payments in return for backing countries as World Cup hosts.

The eccentric bon vivant who once strode across the global stage being flattered by sport and political leaders eager to capture his World Cup hosting vote died in disgrace on Wednesday at age 72.

In that 2013 court appearance, he admitted to accepting bribes over the 1998 and 2010 World Cup bids and, when that information was made public two years later, was handed a lifetime ban from all football-related activities by Fifa.

Mr Blazer served as a government informant in helping uncover the corruption within the soccer governing body.

With his huge girth, outgoing personality and no little charm, Blazer was instantly recognisable (not least at the now-infamous Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich where he was a regular guest) with a canny ability to woo the worldwide media to whom he was frequently approachable - though only when it suited him.

In 2015, he was banned from Federation Internationale de Football Association permanently as a corruption scandal unfolded across world soccer's leaders.

The former vice president of US Soccer pleaded guilty in 2013 to charges of racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering and tax evasion as part of a web of corruption that spanned several decades.

"We are truly saddened by the passing of our client and friend, Chuck Blazer", his lawyers said in a statement.

Blazer urged Jack Warner to run for president of CONCACAF in 1990.

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

Chuck Blazer's official cause of death is rectal cancer, according to The New York Times. The only acknowledgement of Blazer's death by U.S. Soccer was a comment in a news conference by national team coach Bruce Arena.

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.

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.

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

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