US official Blazer to leave FIFA executive seat

FIFA executive committee member Chuck Blazer said he won’t seek

re-election for a fifth term and will leave his 16-year position in

May.

A CONCACAF representative on FIFA’s ruling committee, Blazer is

the most senior American official in world football but his

departure was expected after his whistleblowing role in a scandal

which rocked FIFA in 2011.

Blazer delivered evidence to FIFA of alleged bribery by

presidential election candidate Mohamed bin Hammam during a

campaign visit in Trinidad.

The scandal resulted in longtime CONCACAF president Jack Warner

resigning and officials from half its 40 member countries being

investigated by FIFA.

Blazer left his job as CONCACAF’s general secretary in the

fallout.

”It is time for new faces with new energy to take over the

responsibility of FIFA’s leadership,” the 67-year-old Blazer said

Saturday in a statement.

Blazer announced his exit on Twitter ahead of a Monday deadline

for CONCACAF to accept candidates for the FIFA seat representing

North America.

A contest is expected between Sunil Gulati and Justino Compean,

presidents of the U.S. and Mexico football federations,

respectively. Both are members of the CONCACAF executive

committee.

The election is scheduled on April 19 at the confederation’s

congress in Panama City. The winner will be installed into the FIFA

board on May 31 in Mauritius.

In Panama, CONCACAF is expected to publish results of a forensic

audit of its accounts commissioned after the longstanding

Warner-Blazer leadership era ended.

Blazer was the target of widespread anger last year when members

were told about the New York-based body’s financial affairs. Though

the American was credited with increasing CONCACAF’s revenues since

the 1990s, officials objected to contract commissions he received

which were agreed by Warner.

The hostile meeting in Budapest, Hungary, which Blazer did not

attend, revealed lingering bitterness at the American for his

whistleblowing role.