Testimony from former FIFA and CONCACAF official Chuck Blazer was unsealed today. In it, Blazer swore under oath that he and members of the executive committee accepted and facilitated bribes in exchange for awarding the 1998 and 2010 World Cups. (Blazer voted for Morocco and South Africa, respectively.)
The testimony comes from Blazer’s 2013 plea proceedings (Blazer pleaded guilty, and has been a cooperating witness in the FBI’s case that resulted in last week’s arrests). The full transcript is at the bottom of this post, but here’s the juicy stuff:
During my association with FIFA and CONCACAF, among other things, I and others agreed that I or a co-conspirator would commit at least two acts of racketeering activity. Among other things, I agreed with other persons in or around 1992 to facilitate the acceptance of a bribe in conjunction with the selection of the host nation for the 1998 World Cup.
Beginning in or about 1993 and continuing through the early 2000s, I and others agreed to accept bribes and kickbacks in conjunction with the broadcast and other rights to the 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2003 Gold Cups. 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.
A number of officials indicted last week are expected to seek plea deals, which would likely involve testifying against higher-ups—potentially including Sepp Blatter, who is reportedly the focus of an ongoing FBI investigation. The FBI is also investigating the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.