You have probably heard of the great news that the United States authorities (Department of Justice – DOJ) have arrested, in Switzerland, 7 past and present FIFA executives including vice-presidents for rampant, systemic and deep-rooted corruption, money laundering and fraud amounting to $150m (£97m) over a 24-year period beginning in 1991. Nine FIFA officials and 5 ‘sports media and promotions executives’ have been indicted, I understand. We must thank the indefatigable Loretta Lynch, US Attorney General who has spent years tirelessly pursuing a global investigation.
The day of judgement has arrived at last, thank God, and the 14 will be extradited to the US for trial, speedily, unless extradition is challenged.
That is the brief background. One of the previous executives helped in the arrests by collecting information on the fraudulent transactions (spying on behalf of the FBI). He had to work for the US authorities (DOJ) because he was in deep debt and in a financial hole for various reasons including tax evasion. He pleaded guilty and has paid a large fine. His name is Chuck Blazer, a resident of Queens. It is said that Chuck grew so obese that he could hardly walk.
Here is the nice ‘cat twist’ to this story. Chuck was very fond of his cats – great, he can’t be all bad.
As he was rolling in money acquired fraudulently, as a FIFA executive, he lived an extravagant lifestyle.
So extravagant that, according to the New York Daily News, Blazer rented out an entire floor of Trump Tower. He kept an entire apartment at the Tower for his cats. The rent was $6,000-a-month.
He ran Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) from Trump Towers. The entire 17th floor was taken for CONCACAF while Blazer occupied two apartments on the 49th floor.
He stayed in one at $18,000 per month and the adjoining one was for his cats!
This provides a nice insight into the gross corruption at FIFA, which we all know about but Sepp Blatter the president consistently denied any knowledge of it. He has to go but he is still seeking re-election for the fifth time! The Football World Cups awarded to Qatar and Russia should be rerun. FIFA awarded these countries the right to stage the world cup because of alleged large payments to FIFA officials. We all know that. It is just proving it and the Swiss are investigating these awards to Qatar and Russia.