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Chuck Blazer Attacks FIFA Misuse Of Justice
Sports Features Communications, September 23rd, 2008 1:30PM

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Concacaf General Secretary and FIFA executive committee member Chuck Blazer has launched an attack on the world soccer governing body's handling of the Olympic tournament in China, writes Keir Radnedge. Blazer accused FIFA of "misusing the tools of justice" by having a single judge decide on the Olympic player eligibility issue.

The issue went on to cause FIFA huge embarrassment on the eve of the Olympic soccer tournament, when the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled in favor of clubs such as Barcelona and Werder Bremen who wanted to pull their players from the Olympics. The clubs argued successfully that the Olympics were not an official date on the FIFA international calendar.

Blazer published the comments on his own blog shortly before setting out for FIFA HQ in Zurich for a meeting of the FIFA Players Status Committee Tuesday, on which he serves as deputy chairman. The significance of the player eligibility decision was such that Blazer feels "it should have been put before the full committee," writes Radnedge, adding that "it is virtually unprecedented for a member of the game's most elite corridor of power to break ranks in the manner of Blazer."

Blazer wrote on his blog that the single judge system was only created to clear a backlog of routine cases related to player disputes, while all major matters were still to be brought before the full committee. "Many years later," Blazer wrote, "I find that when convenience suits the cause, our institutions can be misused for purposes of expediency or worse." The Olympic dispute was so significant that it needed to be brought before the full committee, said Blazer. He had never doubted that the CAS would rule against FIFA and in favor of the clubs.

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