Sport Former senior FIFA official admits to taking bribes

Former senior FIFA official admits to taking bribes

Chuck Blazer
Chuck Blazer

(AA) – A former top FIFA executive admitted to accepting bribes over the selection of host nations for the 1998 and 2010 world cups, according to U.S. court documents unsealed Wednesday.

Chuck Blazer, who was a FIFA Executive Committee member from 1996 to 2013, said in testimony during a bribery investigation in 2013 that he and other members of the committee agreed to receive bribes in exchange for votes in favor of France and South Africa as 1998 and 2010 World Cup hosts respectively.

“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”, said Blazer.

“I agreed with other persons in or around 1992 to facilitate the acceptance of a bribe in conjunction with the selection of the host nation for the 1998 World Cup”, he said.

The release of the documents comes days after the U.S. Department of Justice indicted 14 individuals on charges of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering that involved the world’s football governing body.

Seven of those were arrested in Zurich and are awaiting extradition to the U.S.

Four others had already been charged, including Blazer, whose cooperation as a key cooperating witness in the investigation led to last week’s arrests.

The case has sent shockwaves across the world, forcing longtime FIFA head Sepp Blatter to announce his resignation Tuesday night four days after being re-elected.

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