NEW YORK — Former FIFA executive committee member Chuck Blazer told a U.S. federal judge that he and others on the governing body’s ruling panel agreed to receive bribes to vote for South Africa to host the 2010 World Cup.
Prosecutors unsealed a 20-page transcript Wednesday of the November 2013 hearing in U.S. District Court during which Blazer pleaded guilty to racketeering and other charges.
“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 told U.S. District Judge Raymond J. Dearie.
Blazer was the No. 2 official of soccer’s North and Central American and Caribbean region from 1990-2011 and served on FIFA’s executive committee from 1997-2013.
South African Football Association president Molefi Oliphant sent a letter to FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke in 2008 asking FIFA to withhold $10 million from the budget of the 2010 World Cup organizers and to use the money to finance a “Diaspora Legacy Programme” under the control of then CONCACAF President Jack Warner. South Africa Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula denies the money was a bribe and says it was an “above-board payment” to help soccer development in Caribbean region.
Blazer also said he arranged bribes around 1992 in the vote for which country would host the 1998 World Cup. France won the election over Morocco.