Fifa whistleblower Blazer took bribes to favour World Cups in France and South Africa

The bids were successful for the 1998 and 2010 tournaments.

WHISTLEBLOWER CHUCK BLAZER admitted to taking bribes to favour the, ultimately successful, World Cup bids from France and South Africa.

Blazer’s testimony, delivered in a 2013 hearing, has today been published by the US department of justice.

“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 said.

FIFA-Blazer Banned Soccer Source: AP/Press Association Images

“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”.

Prosecutors unsealed the sworn testimony today after Blazer’s plea aided the indictment of 14 people on racketeering and money laundering charges.

After pleading guilty to 10 counts, including tax evasion, in the closed-doors November 2013 hearing in New York, he was released on bail set at $10 million. Blazer told Judge Raymond Dearie that he was being treated for rectal cancer, and had diabetes and coronary artery disease.

The bearded multimillionaire, the face of North American soccer for two decades, pleaded guilty to racketeering, part of a massive US corruption case targeting world football’s governing body.

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‘Corrupt organisation’

Blazer’s testimony is a key plank in the US investigation against FIFA, which the federal court document describes as a “Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization.”

The 70-year-old admitted to a raft of charges related to his leadership of the North and Central American soccer body CONCACAF and membership of FIFA’s executive committee.

He is awaiting sentencing and may be called to testify in the trials of other sports executives. The most serious charge, racketeering, carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. But in the released papers, the other FIFA executives identified as co-conspirators are not named.

Read the full hearing here.

Updated 22.40

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