The investigations into FIFA’s corrupt practices continue, and the attention has again been focused on American Chuck Blazer.
Andrew Jennings, one of soccer’s most outspoken reformers, released a new detailed report yesterday with a laundry list of accusations against Blazer and his lavish lifestyle. Jennings claims the FBI has now begun investigating the FIFA official’s bank accounts for some very suspicious payments and for failure to report income, a very serious charge that the federal government does not take lightly in high-profile cases. When we had left the FIFA/CONCACAF drama, Blazer had outed CONCACAF’s Jack Warner for bribery on behalf of FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hamman. According to Jenning’s report, it seems as though Blazer was more involved with Warner’s wrong-doing than previously understood, if the reports are accurate.
Some of the story’s more juicy details include:
- Blazer received (and repaid) a payment of $250,000 from the Caribbean Football Union, which was controlled by Warner and which Blazer claims Warner was illegally writing checks from the bank account. This was in addition to large payments made to Blazer in September 2010.
- Blazer allegedly held a retreat in his $3 million apartment at the Reef Atlantis Paradise Island resort last month for Caribbean officials sympathetic to him. He allegedly owns the resort property which is paid for through a series of companies connected to a Nassau bank where he supposedly has an account.
- He receives a ton of commissions from regional sports marketing companies with connections to Warner, including making $2 million allegedly off one such contract.
- Two of his children have worked for him, including his son who currently works as CONCACAF’s chief medical officer which pays $7,000 a month.
- Including an apartment above the CONCACAF offices in Trump Towers, Blazer has property in North Carolina (farmhouse) and Miami (waterfront apartment).
- Most stomach churning for me, Jennings uncovers a picture of Blazer and his girlfriend chatting with Dr. Ruth Westheimer.
All kidding aside, these are serious accusations that cast new light on the CONCACAF drama that occurred around the World Cup 2022 bid. Jennings is known for his dogged investigation into the bribed FIFA executive committee members and subsequent exposé which some have blamed for England not even advancing past the first round in the 2018 World Cup voting. His level of detail is also in-depth and while some of it can be dismissed by supporters as unsubstantiated, his lavish lifestyle is disconcerting.
Of course, this is not the first time we’ve heard of Blazer’s antics, but the fact that the Feds are involved takes it to a whole new level. The FBI loves to investigate financial crimes and has a high-profile history of successfully prosecuting them. Expect during the upcoming months to hear drips of leaked information about Blazer and some more of his interesting monetary expenditures, but the biggest take-away from this exposé is kind of what we expected: there’s allegedly more to the story of Chuck Blazer’s attempted FIFA clean-up.