US official Blazer to leave FIFA executive seat

The American member of FIFA’s executive committee who went

public with bribery accusations against his boss two years ago said

he won’t seek re-election for a fifth term and will leave his

position in May after 16 years.

Chuck Blazer is the most senior American official in world

soccer but his departure was expected after his role in the scandal

over presidential election candidate Mohamed bin Hammam.

”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.

In 2011, he said that CONCACAF president Jack Warner and Asian

confederation head Mohamed bin Hammam attempted to bribe Caribbean

delegates $40,000 each to vote for Bin Hammam in the FIFA

presidential election. Warner’s acting successor then tried to fire

Blazer, setting off more disciplinary proceedings.

Warner resigned and officials from half of its 40 member

countries were investigated by FIFA. Blazer left his job as general

secretary of the continental federation for North America, Central

America and the Caribbean in the fallout.

A contest to replace him at FIFA is expected between American

federation president Sunil Gulati and Mexican president Justino

Compean. 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 to by Warner.