Blazer dies after exposing corruption

July 15, 2017

NEW YORK (AP):

The charade only ended in the final years of Chuck Blazer's life.

Stripped of his extravagances, football's gregarious and greedy dealmaker was forced to admit to his years of corruption and confined to a New Jersey hospital.

The eccentric bon vivant who once strode across the global stage being flattered by sport and political leaders eager to capture his World Cup hosting vote died in disgrace on Wednesday at age 72.

However much Blazer elevated the status and wealth of football in North America over several decades, any achievements were polluted by the ravenous appetite of 'Mr 10 Percent' to seek bribes and siphon cash from deals into his personal account.

Blazer did go on to play a central role exposing fraudulent culture, which led to FIFA President Sepp Blatter being toppled, but he turned only when presented with little option but to become a cooperating witness.

The impact of Blazer's death on the FIFA prosecution in the United States where three South American officials are set to go on trial in November is unclear. Many of the more prominent figures who might have faced him as a star government witness have already pleaded guilty.

Any recordings Blazer made after agreeing to become an FBI informant and wear a wire could still come into evidence without his testimony, said Timothy Heaphy, a former US attorney now in private practice.

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