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June 11th, 2015

We Talk Sports…FIFA executive committee member Blazer admitted bribes

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ffwNEW YORK (AP) — Former FIFA executive committee member Chuck Blazer told a U.S. federal judge that he and others on the governing body’s ruling panel agreed to receive bribes in the votes for the hosts of the 1998 and 2010 World Cups.

Prosecutors unsealed a 40-page transcript Wednesday of the hearing in U.S. District Court on Nov. 25, 2013, when Blazer pleaded guilty to racketeering and other charges.

Four sections of the transcript were redacted by prosecutors, presumably to protect avenues of their investigation.

Blazer, in admitting 10 counts of illegal conduct, told the court of his actions surrounding the vote that made South Africa the first nation on that continent to host soccer’s premier event.

“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,” Blazer told U.S. District Judge Raymond J. Dearie.

Blazer was the No. 2 official of soccer’s North and Central American and Caribbean region from 1990-2011 and served on FIFA’s executive committee from 1997-2013. South Africa defeated Morocco 14-10 in the host vote.

South African Football Association president Molefi Oliphant sent a letter to FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke in 2008 asking FIFA to withhold $10 million from the budget of the 2010 World Cup organizers and to use the money to finance a “Diaspora Legacy Programme” under the control of then CONCACAF President Jack Warner. South Africa Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula denies the money was a bribe and says it was an “aboveboard payment” to help soccer development in Caribbean region.

Blazer also said he was involved in bribes around 1992 in the vote for the 1998 World Cup host, won by France over Morocco 12-7.



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