Former FIFA executive Chuck Blazer has admitted that he and other members of the organisation took bribes in conjunction with various World Cup bids.
As Martyn Ziegler of the Press Association noted, Blazer's guilty plea was released Wednesday, and it reveals he accepted a bribe to vote for the 2010 World Cup to be held in South Africa and another during the bidding process for the 1998 showpiece:
Blazer is now a cooperating witness in federal investigations into corruption in the sport. The revelations from the 70-year-old were released the day after FIFA's president, Sepp Blatter, announced he would be resigning his post in the wake of the recent corruption crisis.
“I and others on FIFA executive committee agreed to accept bribes in conjunction with selection of South Africa as host nation," Blazer said, per Bryan Swanson of Sky Sports News. "I agreed with other persons to facilitate the acceptance of a bribe in conjunction with selection of '98 World Cup host nation.”
Blazer went on to reveal more occasions when bribes were taken:
The former FIFA official’s plea was before a federal judge in New York in 2013. A transcript of the hearing was released on Wednesday, in which Blazer pleads guilty to racketeering and other charges.
James Masters of CNN outlined some of the key segments of the transcript:
The full 40-page document can be viewed here, courtesy of Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl. A source of these bribes has yet to be revealed, and various facets of the transcript are redacted for legal purposes.
The road to justice in the wake of the initial arrests in Zurich, which have plunged world football’s governing body into crisis, was expected to be a long and arduous one.
But with Blatter’s resignation and these latest revelations shocking the football firmament, it seems as though FIFA’s precariously built house of cards is tumbling down very quickly.