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'Whistle-blower' Blazer himself barred from soccer
by Paul Kennedy, May 6th, 2013 5:30PM
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[FIFA] American Chuck Blazer, the most senior American official at FIFA and the "whistle-blower" on the Caribbean vote-buying scandal that resulted in the resignation or expulsion of two confederation presidents, has himself been provisionally suspended for 90 votes, meaning he wouldn't be able to serve out his term as a member of FIFA's executive committee that expires later this month.

FIFA suspended Blazer, the former Concacaf general secretary, for 90 days "based on the fact that various breaches of the Code of Ethics appear to have been committed." He is barred from taking part in "any kind of football-related activity" during that period.

The adjudicatory chamber of FIFA Ethics Committee opened investigation proceedings against Blazer, 68, in response to a report filed by the Concacaf Integrity Committee last month.

The FIFA statement:

"The decision was taken following a request made by the acting deputy chairman of the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, Robert Torres, based on the fact that various breaches of the FIFA Code of Ethics appear to have been committed by Chuck Blazer and that a decision on the main issue could not be taken early enough."

Blazer announced in February his plans to quit his seat on the FIFA executive committee in May. He was accused of taking millions of dollars in commissions from Concacaf without a contract and renting an apartment in New York "for no business reason" and attempting to buy property in the Bahamas worth $4 million using Concacaf money.

Blazer was also said to be "entirely negligent" in failing to file U.S. income tax returns for Concacaf, leading to the body losing its tax-exempt status as a non-profit organization.

He resigned as Concacaf's general secretary in 2011 after serving with the body for 21 years. He was first elected to the FIFA executive committee in 1997. He will be succeeded by fellow American Sunil Gulati on the executive committee.

To the question of do you have an idol in soccer on his FIFA bio, Blazer says, "Yes, but not a player, a majestic symbol of elegance in our sport, Dr. Joao Havelange."

Only last week was it announced the 96-year-old Havelange was forced to resign his position as honorary president after a FIFA Ethics Committee report confirmed what had been suspected for years -- Havelange, his former son-in-law, Brazilian Ricardo Teixeira, and former South American confederation president Nicolas Leoz had taken millions of dollars in bribes from defunct marketing agency ISL.

Also last week, the FIFA Ethics Committee banned FIFA executive committee member Vernon Manilal Fernando from soccer for eight years, bringing to nine the number of FIFA executive committee members (out of 25) who have been kicked out of soccer, quit amid scandal charges or were reprimanded in the last three years.



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