FIFA ended the world soccer career of Chuck Blazer on Thursday, handing the American a lifetime ban for widespread corruption weeks after his admissions to racketeering and tax evasion were unsealed by U.S. federal agencies.
Blazer "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 FIFA ethics committee said in a statement.
Thursday's banishment was considered a formality. Longtime the most senior American in world soccer, Blazer has pleaded guilty to 10 counts including racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies and income tax evasion.
Blazer, 70, also has admitted to receiving bribes in exchange for his support for South Africa's successful 2010 World Cup hosting bid, taking part in World Cup ticket sale scams and taking millions of dollars in kickbacks as CONCAF general secretary.
“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,” the ethics panel said Thursday of Blazer, who served on FIFA's policy-making executive committee for 16 years until 2013.
A cooperating witness with U.S. federal agencies since 2011 after his tax affairs were investigated, Blazer surrendered more than $1.9 million at the time of his plea and has said he will hand over more money once he is sentenced.