Chuck Blazer, former Fifa official turned informant, dies aged 72

American former executive committee member was a central figure in the Fifa corruption scandal

Chuck Blazer, the controversial and flamboyant American former Fifa official, has died, according to his lawyers.

The cause of his death, at the age of 72, is not yet clear, but in 2013 he told a court he had rectal cancer, diabetes and coronary artery disease.

The former Fifa executive committee member, who was also the general secretary of Concacaf, was a central figure in the Fifa corruption scandal.

In that 2013 court appearance, he admitted to accepting bribes over the 1998 and 2010 World Cup bids and, when that information was made public two years later, was handed a lifetime ban from all football-related activities by Fifa.

He turned whistleblower to aid the US government in its investigations into corruption within football’s world governing body and played a crucial role in the downfall of its long-time president, Sepp Blatter, and in prompting promises of reform within the organisation.

In a statement, his lawyers Eric Corngold and Mary Mulligan said Blazer had been instrumental in the development of football in the region, and his misconduct “should not obscure Chuck’s positive impact on international soccer”.

The statement continued: “Chuck felt profound sorrow and regret for his action. He expressed sincere remorse towards his former constituents and colleagues, and to all of the soccer players disappointed by his conduct.”

A larger than life character, Blazer was known for his eccentricity. A resident of New York, he rented an apartment in Trump Tower along with a separate unit just for his cats, according to reports. He was often seen around the city with his pet macaw on his shoulder.

“With Chuck’s guidance and leadership, Concacaf transformed itself from impoverished to profitable, with substantial benefits and improvements to all member associations, players and fans,” the statement added.

“Throughout his adult life, Chuck felt great pride in his service to soccer. In fact, he devoted 30 years of his life to soccer at all levels of the game, with his involvement ranging from coaching his children’s youth teams to serving on Fifa’s executive committee.”

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