A former FIFA executive committee member, Chuck Blazer, told a federal judge that he “agreed to accept bribes” to bring the World Cup to South Africa in 2010 and also helped to “facilitate” a bribe in connection with selecting France to host the tournament in 1998.
The admissions were included in a transcript of Blazer’s guilty plea to fraud and racketeering charges in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn in November 2013. The 40-page document was unsealed on Wednesday.
“Among other things, 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,” Blazer told the judge.
“Beginning in or about 1993 and continuing through the early 2000s, I and others agreed to accept bribes and kickbacks in conjunction with the broadcast and other rights to the 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2003 Gold Cups.
“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, also the former general secretary of CONCACAF, the federation that oversees soccer in North America, South America and the Caribbean, told that judge that he accepted bribes and kickbacks for rights to five Gold Cup tournaments.
The amounts and circumstances of the bribes weren’t detailed.
Los Angeles times said the judge described FIFA as a “RICO enterprise,” an acronym for criminal enterprises under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act.
Blazer, 70, pleaded guilty to money laundering, income tax evasion, racketeering and wire fraud. He also agreed to cooperate with authorities.
South Africa has denied it bribed allegations that it gave bribe to secure the hosting of the World Cup in 2010.