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Blazer to step down from CONCACAF role

October 7, 2011 -- Updated 1717 GMT (0117 HKT)
A turbulent period for FIFA began in May 2010. Whilst most of the world's soccer fans were more concerned with Africa's first World Cup finals that June, FIFA was presented with official bid documents by Australia, England, Netherlands/Belgium, Japan, South Korea, Qatar, Russia, Spain/Portugal and the United States for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments. During the ceremony at its Swiss headquarters, FIFA announced dates for inspections of the bidding nations from July-September. A turbulent period for FIFA began in May 2010. Whilst most of the world's soccer fans were more concerned with Africa's first World Cup finals that June, FIFA was presented with official bid documents by Australia, England, Netherlands/Belgium, Japan, South Korea, Qatar, Russia, Spain/Portugal and the United States for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments. During the ceremony at its Swiss headquarters, FIFA announced dates for inspections of the bidding nations from July-September.
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Chuck Blazer has announced he will step down as CONCACAF general secretary
  • Blazer has been involved with CONCACAF for 21 years
  • The American will maintain his place on FIFA's executive committee

(CNN) -- American Chuck Blazer will leave his role as general secretary of CONCACAF, the body which governs football in North and Central America and the Caribbean, on December 31, ending a 21-year association with the organization.

Blazer, 66, joined the body in 1990 and will leave his position to focus on other football-related projects.

"My passion for soccer is undiminished and it is time for me to explore new challenges within this wonderful sport," Blazer said in statement on CONCACAF's website.

"Leading this organization during the last two decades of unprecedented growth and accomplishment has been a great honor and a tremendous challenge.

"With CONCACAF's 50th anniversary year coming to a close, the Champions League well established and the 2011 Gold Cup having exceeded all expectations, the timing will be right to devote myself to other opportunities within this wonderful sport."

Leading this organization during the last two decades ... has been a great honor and a tremendous challenge
Chuck Blazer

Despite stepping down from his role with CONCACAF Blazer will retain his position with FIFA, the body in charge of world football.

Blazer has been a member of FIFA's executive committee since 1997 and was part of the vote last year which awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.

It has been a turbulent time for CONCACAF following the resignation of former chief and FIFA vice president Jack Warner in June.

Warner, from Trinidad and Tobago, resigned from his post with FIFA after allegations of bribery and corruption in the run up to FIFA's presidential ballot in June.

The vote was won unopposed by Sepp Blatter, the Swiss who has been at the head of world football since 1998.

Blatter's sole rival in the race for the FIFA presidency was Mohammed bin Hammam, the former head of football in Asia.

Bin Hammam loses first round of legal battle

Qatari Bin Hammam has since received a lifetime ban from FIFA following the same corruption allegations which had been made against Warner. The 62-year-old recently has an appeal against his sanction rejected by FIFA's ethics committee.

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