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Federation Internationale de Football Association whistleblower, FoHi native, dies
14 July 2017, 12:52 | Melanie Burgess
Disgraced Ex-FIFA Executive Chuck Blazer Has Died At 72
Blazer, who ran a business that mostly made political campaign buttons and claimed to have invented the "smiley face" button, began his soccer career as the youth coach of his son Jason's soccer team in New Rochelle, N.Y., in the mid-1970s although having never played the game.
The burly American, whose admissions of guilt set off the corruption scandal that heaped disgrace on Federation Internationale de Football Association, has died aged 72 after battling cancer and other illnesses, bringing to an end one the most colourful and controversial careers in the history of the sport. He admitted to sharing in a $10 million bribe scheme with others to support South Africa's bid for the 2010 World Cup, and facilitating a kickback linked to Morocco's failed bid for the 1998 World Cup.
This fraud had been previously discovered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and IRS because of Blazer's failure to pay income tax, but authorities were able to turn Blazer into an informant on other instances of sporting corruption.
Blazer, who was banned from all football activities for life in 2015, had been suffering from cancer.
In 2013, his reputation shattered, a disgraced Blazer pleaded guilty to racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering.
As per the statement from his lawyers, "We are truly saddened by the passing of our client and friend, Chuck Blazer,". There he joined forces with Jack Warner, a Trinidadian schoolteacher whom he helped get elected as CONCACAF president, with Blazer serving as his secretary general.
At Blazer's urging, U.S. Soccer got serious about growing the sport via the national men's team, which had played just two matches between 1981 and 1983 but played 19 in the two years that followed Blazer's election.
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