In news that surprised absolutely no one, Sepp Blatter was reelected the head of FIFA in Zurich today. It still does not change the fact that Chuck Blazer is a convicted criminal.
Chuck Blazer, Mr Ten Percent himself, is apparently lot of things: he is apparently very shrewd, smart, charming and a good salesman. He elevated CONCACAF to unprecedented financial heights and got paid handsomely in the process.
One thing Chuck Blazer is not is a hero. So let’s not pretend otherwise.
He is a crook, convicted felon and a rat. And no amount of image laundering done on this site or any other is going to change that.
Facing some serious fines and serious jail time, Blazer pleaded guilty to an impressive list of crimes, including six counts of income tax evasion, and one count each of racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and willful failure to file a report of foreign bank and financial accounts.
He was hailed as a hero for exposing FIFA corruption a few years ago. For what? All he really did was rat out his friends and colleagues before they got a chance to rat him out first. And when the FBI and the IRS came knocking a few months later, he was allegedly afforded the opportunity to show where all the bodies are buried in exchange for a reduced sentence. He even wore a wire, or a wired fob he had to throw on the table -- something someone of his stature would never do, according to him. How gauche!
Blazer was the General Secretary of CONCACAF from 1990 to 2011. The indictments date malfeasance back to on or around the same date. Crazy coincidence, right. He squared a deal where he collect a 10% commission on any and all CONCACAF deals he negotiated. Which partly explains why the Gold Cup has been played in one country for the better part of its incarnation. Good for him, it made him very rich.
But why would someone who was making so much legitimate scratch feel the need to not pay taxes for a decade? Oh, yeah. All the off the book bribes, kickbacks and proceeds from illegal ticket sales of which he has paid 1.95 Million as part of his plea deal. He is expected to make restitution on more. A lot more.
So what does this mean for us, the soccer fan living in the US? In the short term, I fully expect Copa America 2016 to be cancelled. The teams were going to be diluted anyway, so let’s go ahead and put the kibosh on this thing now. As far as other implications… Blazer himself has proven that there is no honor among thieves. But vengeance is a time honored tradition - and according to... everyone, FIFA is a den of thieves.
So it is hard to imagine that the CONCACAF region is going to get any FIFA tournaments in the foreseeable future. There is a chance that Qatar 2022 might go somewhere else, doubtful, though. the USA, perhaps? Keep dreaming. Besides, there is no money to be made in country that already has plenty of stadia and infrastructure. That is where the real money is made, in addition to rights fees. Look at how many stadia have been built for World Cup games since 2002, which coincidentally, was the first World Cup of the Blatter regime.