Football: Banned former Fifa executive and whistleblower Chuck Blazer, 72, dies

Chuck Blazer (right), seen with then Fifa president Sepp Blatter in a file photo from June 1, 2011.
Chuck Blazer (right), seen with then Fifa president Sepp Blatter in a file photo from June 1, 2011.PHOTO: AFP

(Reuters) - Chuck Blazer, the former Fifa executive committee member who pleaded guilty to racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering, has died, his lawyers said on Wednesday.

A statement from Blazer's two lawyers did not provide details or the circumstances of his death.

The New York Times said he had died of rectal cancer, which he had suffered for years.

Blazer, 72, was general secretary of the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) from 1990 to 2011.

He pleaded guilty in the United States to bribery and financial offences in 2013 and was later banned by Fifa from all football activities for life.

According to the transcript of his November 2013 guilty plea, Blazer and others in Fifa agreed to accept bribes in the bidding process for the 1998 World Cup in France and the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Fifa's ethics committee said Blazer breached rules on loyalty, confidentiality, duty of disclosure, conflicts of interest, offering and accepting gifts, and bribery and corruption.

As part of the 2013 plea agreement, Blazer agreed to cooperate with investigating authorities in the United States while they investigated the Fifa corruption scandal, which eventually played a crucial role in the departure of its former president, Sepp Blatter.

Blazer had accused another former Concacaf president, Jack Warner, of having pocketed funds from a US$10 million (S$13.77 million) project to support the African diaspora in Caribbean countries at the time of South Africa's successful bid to stage the 2010 World Cup.

Fifa opened an ethics investigation over bribes-for-votes allegations in the 2011 Fifa presidential election after Blazer reported a possible case of bribery between Blatter and then Fifa presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam.

Warner and Bin Hammam were also banned by Fifa for life.