FIFA on Thursday issued a life ban for Chuck Blazer, a former executive committee member and the ex-head of Concacaf, football's governing body in North and Central America and the Caribbean. The ban calls for Blazer to be banned from any kind of football-related activity on a national or international level, and was handed out by the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA's ethics committee.
"In his positions as a football official, he was a key player in schemes involving the offer, acceptance, payment and receipt of undisclosed and illegal payments, bribes and kickbacks as well as other money-making schemes," the FIFA ethics committee said in a statement.
The decision was made after new evidence unveiled by U.S. federal authorities in June revealed that Blazer had pleaded guilty to 10 counts of misconduct throughout his career, including when he served several key positions in Concacaf and FIFA.
Blazer, an American national, pleaded guilty before a U.S. court to charges of corruption, including offences related to the 1998 and the 2010 World Cup bidding processes, as well as being a key figure in other schemes involving the offer, acceptance and payment of undisclosed and illegal bribes.
The documents revealed that Blazer agreed to go undercover for the FBI as part of a plea bargain in order to avoid a possible 75-year jail sentence, and was acting as a cooperating witness since 2011 after his taxes were investigated.
FIFA's investigation into his activities was provisionally suspended in 2013 due to his poor health, and also to let the U.S. federal investigation develop its probe further. Blazer reportedly told a Brooklyn court in 2013 that he had been treated for rectal cancer.
Blazer was part of FIFA's executive panel for 16 years before leaving in 2013, and also served as the general secretary of Concacaf. Former Concacaf president Jack Warner has also been implicated in the scandal.
The move from FIFA comes amid a massive corruption sweep that began with the arrest of seven current high-ranking FIFA officials and several other prominent people by U.S. authorities in May. Swiss authorities are also conducting a parallel investigation into the corruption charges. The arrests came ahead of the re-election and subsequent resignation of Sepp Blatter as FIFA's president.
Meanwhile, the FBI also opened an investigation into the decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, respectively.