4 Jun 2015

Former FIFA exec admitted taking bribes

9:58 am on 4 June 2015

A former executive committee member of football's governing body FIFA told a United States judge in November 2013 that he took bribes in connection with the 1998 and 2010 World Cups, among other major events.

Ex-Fifa-Member Chuck BLAZER (USA, FIFA Executive Committee) and outgoing FIFA President Sepp Blatter posing with the Club World Cup in 2012.

Ex-Fifa-Member Chuck BLAZER (USA, FIFA Executive Committee) and outgoing FIFA President Sepp Blatter posing with the Club World Cup in 2012. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Charles "Chuck" Blazer, an American citizen who spent two decades as one of the world's most powerful football officials, secretly pleaded guilty to 10 criminal counts in New York as part of an agreement with US prosecutors, according to a partially redacted transcript of the hearing released today.

According to US officials, Blazer's co-operation helped build a sprawling corruption case that has led to charges against top FIFA figures and helped prompt the resignation yesterday of long-time president Sepp Blatter.

In addition to serving as an executive committee member from 1997 to 2013, Blazer was also the general secretary of CONCACAF, football's governing body in North and Central America and in the Caribbean, from 1990 to 2011.

Meanwhile the former England captain David Beckham has blasted FIFA over the "despicable" corruption allegations which led to Blatter's resignation.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder, who was a major figure in England's failed bid to host the 2018 Would Cup, issued a strongly-worded statement this morning calling for major change at FIFA.

"Some of the things that we now know happened were despicable, unacceptable and awful for the game that we love so much," Beckham said.

"Football is not owned by a few individuals at the top, it belongs to the millions of people around the world who love this sport."

"It is time for FIFA to change and we should all welcome it."

Blatter unexpectedly announced yesterday that he was quitting as FIFA president, just four days after he was re-elected to a fifth term.

- Reuters

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