Chuck Blazer says FIFA Accepted Bribes for France, South Africa World Cups
NEW YORK, June 3 (UPI) — Former FIFA official Chuck Blazer admitted the soccer organization’s executive committee accepted bribes for the selection of South Africa and France as World Cup venues.
At a plea hearing in 2013 in the Eastern New York District Court, Blazer admitted the committee accepted bribes for the 1998 and 2010 World Cup host city selections. The court documents detailing his guilty pleas were unsealed Wednesday.
Blazer admitted to 10 crimes at the hearing, the most serious of which carries a maximum of 20 years in prison, Bloomberg reported.
“I knew that the funds involved were the proceeds of an unlawful bribe, and I and others used wires, emails and telephone to effectuate payment of and conceal the nature of the bribe,” Blazer said at the hearing.
The FBI used Blazer as an informant in its investigation into alleged widespread corruption within FIFA. Blazer faced serious prison time for not paying taxes for years. He provided information that led the Justice Department to determine that crimes were committed within the United States by FIFA officials and related business executives.
Last week the Department of Justice charged more than a dozen FIFA soccer officials and sports marketers for their involvement with the alleged corruption. The indictment said an unnamed “high-ranking FIFA official” authorized a $10 million bribe for the selection of South Africa as the host of the 2010 World Cup.
A source told Bloomberg that high-ranking official was Jerome Valcke, FIFA’s secretary general and former FIFA President Sepp Blatter‘s top lieutenant.
Details of Blazer’s plea hearing were revealed one day after Blatter announced he would resign from the top post. Earlier Wednesday, Interpol issued six wanted persons alerts, called red notices, as part of the ongoing FIFA corruption scandal.