And so it is revealed that Chuck Blazer – former member of FIFA’s Executive Committee and General Secretary of CONCACAF – has been SPYING on fellow ‘top’ soccer officials on behalf of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Think about that.
The New York Daily News (of all possible publications) has an extensive report (read it in full here) that details how Blazer, now stricken with colon cancer, did not pay income taxes for a decade while earning tens of millions of dollars from his football-related activities. Now, just like the New York mafia, it appears that it is unpaid taxes that has led to Blazer’s demise. The fallen FIFA heavywight agreed to assist the FBI and become a cooperating witness in its on-going investigation into FIFA and its ways of doing business.
In other highlights from the Daily News story:
Agents from the FBI and IRS pursued Blazer down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan as the “morbidly obese” FIFA exco member rode a motorized scooter (Blazer apparently owns a FLEET of mobility scooters) to dinner at a restaurant. The agents stopped Blazer before he made it to Elaine’s, a now-closed restaurant once famous for its celebrity diners, and told him “We can take you away in handcuffs now – or you can cooperate.”
Blazer chose to cooperate.
It is also revealed Blazer, under order from the U.S. federal agents, called meetings in London with some of the soccer world’s top officials during the 2012 Olympic Games. The FBI requested Blazer meet with Alexey Sorokin, head of Russia’s bid team for the 2018 World Cup, Anton Baranov, a secretary for Vitaly Mutko, chairman of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia local organizing committee, and Vitaly Logvin, president of a charity called ‘For The Future of Fencing‘.
The FBI also requested Blazer meet with Australian businessman Frank Lowy, Chairman of Football Federation Australia as well as Peter Hargitay, a Swiss-Hungarian who acted as a consultant for Australia’s flawed and failed bid for the 2022 World Cup.
The important detail is the FBI and IRS requested Blazer secretly record the meetings, meaning the U.S. federal agents were specifically seeking to covertly elicit information from the Russian and Australian representatives.
In other words, Blazer enabled the FBI and IRS to spy on the Russians and Australians.
Lowy and his family has been the subject of a previous probe by the U.S. tax authorities over alleged use of a tax shelter in Lichtenstein while Hargitay was arrested by Interpol in Miami in 1997 after Hungarian officials sought an extradition order and served seven months in prison as a flight risk after being charged with conspiracy to import cocaine to the U.S.
Hargitay, whose role as an adviser to Australia’s bid was secret until I revealed his involvement, was later acquitted of the charges and, in any case, this did not deter Australia from hiring Hargitay to be one of its top World Cup bid team officials.
Blazer, the report adds, worked from two Manhattan apartments. One was a $18,000-per-month flat for himself as well as an adjoining $6,000 retreat largely for his unruly CATS, according to a Daily News source.
“[Blazer] lived like there was no tomorrow,” reads one quote. “He ate and drank whatever he pleased. He probably thought he’d be gone before anybody noticed what he had helped himself to.”
Correction [November 2, 2014]: An earlier version of this post named Vitaly Logvin as president of the International Fencing Federation. Mr Logvin is president of a charity called For The Future of Fencing.