BuzzFeed News

Reporting To You


FIFA Bans Whistleblower Chuck Blazer From Soccer-Related Activities For Life

The former FIFA Executive Committee member helped U.S. authorities with their investigation into corruption in soccer's governing body after he pleaded guilty to bribery, money laundering, and tax evasion.

Last updated on July 3, 2018, at 1:20 p.m. ET

Posted on July 9, 2015, at 6:39 a.m. ET

FIFA has banned former Executive Committee member Chuck Blazer from soccer-related activities for life, the organization said in a statement Thursday.

Julian Finney / Getty Images

Blazer pleaded guilty to bribery, tax evasion, and money laundering charges in 2013 and worked undercover in soccer's global governing body helping U.S. prosecutors gather evidence of corruption from 2011.

FIFA's statement said:

Mr Blazer committed many and various acts of misconduct continuously and repeatedly during his time as an official in different high-ranking and influential positions at FIFA and CONCACAF. In his positions as a football official, he was a key player in schemes involving the offer, acceptance, payment and receipt of undisclosed and illegal payments, bribes and kickbacks as well as other money-making schemes.

The violations of FIFA's code of conduct relate to rules around loyalty, confidentiality, duty of disclosure, conflicts of interest, offering and accepting gifts and other benefits, and bribery and corruption.

The ban went into effect Thursday. Blazer, 70, was also the second highest-ranking official in CONCACAF, the soccer confederation for the Caribbean and North and Central America, from 1990 to 2011.

FIFA's investigations into Blazer were suspended in May 2013 due to the New Yorker's "ill-health", but they were resumed in December 2014.

The statement said that the decision had been made by the adjudicatory chamber of its Ethics Committee — chaired by Hans-Joachim Eckert. That committee was the center of its own controversy surrounding its report into an investigation into corruption in bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which was rejected by the lawyer who carried it out.

The FIFA statement added: "The decision was taken on the basis of investigations carried out by the investigatory chamber of the ethics committee in response to the final report of the CONCACAF integrity committee and the latest facts presented by the US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York."