A closer look at Chuck Blazer (yes, he had an apartment for his cats)
Chuck Blazer has been a focal point of the bribery scandal that has enveloped FIFA over the last week, leading to the resignation of the world soccer organization’s president, Sepp Blatter, on Tuesday. But not much is known about Blazer, a former member of FIFA’s executive committee who resigned in 2013 and apparently is the one who blew the whistle on all the alleged shenanigans.
Here is what we do know about Blazer, thanks to two profiles on him, one by Ken Bensinger of Buzzfeed and one by the New York Daily News:
In 1989, Blazer was unemployed and traveled to Trinidad and Tobago, where the U.S. men’s national team was playing a World Cup qualifier. There, Blazer met up with Jack Warner and urged him to run for CONCACAF president, with Blazer serving as campaign manager. Warner won and named Blazer the man in charge of day-to-day operations. In exchange, Blazer asked for, and received, a 10% cut of certain types of revenue.
In 1998, his contract expired. He never signed another one but kept working as usual.
Between 1992 and 2011, Blazer made $22 million. CONCACAF, the governing body for soccer in North America, Central America and the Caribbean, bought homes or apartments for Blazer in New York, Miami and the Bahamas. CONCACAF also paid $6,000 a month for a New York apartment to house Blazer’s cats.
In 2010, the IRS took away CONCACAF’s tax-exempt status because it failed to file returns for three straight years. Blazer was blamed for this. He resigned from CONCACAF in 2013.
Reportedly, at some point between 2010 and 2013, the FBI went to Blazer and said he could either turn in his superiors or go to jail for a long time. Blazer apparently decided to help the FBI, leading to last week’s indictments of current and former high-ranking FIFA officials.
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