Chuck Blazer — the eccentric ex-FIFA official who is widely believed to be an FBI informant — admitted to facilitating or accepting bribes for two different World Cups in a 2013 hearing with federal prosecutors.
Blazer pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, wire-fraud conspiracy, money-laundering conspiracy, income-tax evasion, and failure to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Account.
Documents from that hearing were unsealed Wednesday.
“Among other things, I agreed with other persons in and around 1992 to facilitate the acceptance of a bribe in conjunction with the selection of the host nation for the 1998 World Cup,” he testified. “Beginning in or around 2004 and continuing through 2011, I and others on the FIFA executive committee agreed to accept bribes in conjunction with the selection of South Africa as the host nation for the 2010 World Cup.”
The 1998 World Cup was awarded to France in 1992, four years before Blazer had a World Cup vote as part of the executive committee. He did have a 2010 vote.
In the Department of Justice’s 164-page indictment against nine current and former FIFA officials, prosecutors allege that Blazer, fellow Concacaf official Jack Warner, and another FIFA executive committee member took a $US10 million bribe from South Africa for their votes. In 2008, $US10 million in FIFA money that was meant for the South African World Cup organising committee was diverted to bank accounts controlled by Warner. South Africa and FIFA say this payment was part of a World Cup legacy program and wasn’t a bribe.
The indictment contains no mention of the 1998 World Cup bribery.
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