FIFA provisionally ban Executive Committee member Chuck Blazer for maximum of 90 days
Move follows CONCACAF investigation into organization's former general secretary in April
American, 68, had been set to quit FIFA Executive Committee at end of May
Football’s world governing body FIFA has provisionally suspended outgoing Executive Committee member Chuck Blazer for 90 days “based on the fact that various breaches of the Code of Ethics appear to have been committed” by the American.
The former general secretary of CONCACAF, the body which governs football in North and Central America and the Caribbean, has been barred from taking part in “any kind of football-related activity” for a maximum period of 90 days.
The decision was taken by Hans-Joachim Eckert, the chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee – which opened investigation proceedings against Blazer, 68, in response to a report filed by the CONCACAF Integrity Committee last month.
“The decision was taken following a request made by the acting deputy chairman of the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, Robert Torres, based on the fact that various breaches of the FIFA Code of Ethics appear to have been committed by Chuck Blazer and that a decision on the main issue could not be taken early enough,” read a Fifa statement.
Read: Blazer to step down from CONCACAF
The announcement comes less than one week after fellow FIFA executive committee member Vernon Manilal Fernando of Sri Lanka was banned for eight years for unethical behaviour.
The CONCACAF report alleged that Blazer, who has been provisionally banned pending a full disciplinary hearing, received at least $15 million in addition to other funds that were used to buy and rent luxury apartments.
Blazer, who has been the most senior American official at FIFA for the last 16 years, had previously said that he will give up his seat on the Executive Committee when his term expires at the end of this month.
He resigned as CONCACAF’s general secretary in 2011, after serving with the body for 21 years.
In April, the head of CONCACAF’s integrity committee, David Simmons, described Blazer and his former boss, Trinidadian Jack Warner, as being ‘fraudulent in their management’ of the continental organization.
The former colleagues fell out in 2011 when Blazer reported Warner and Asian Football Confederation chief Mohamed bin Hammam to FIFA’s Ethics Committee, accusing the duo of trying to bribe Caribbean delegated to support the Qatari bin Hammam in that year’s FIFA presidential election.
Blazer’s accusations led to the downfall of bin Hammam, the resignation of Warner as a FIFA vice president and CONCACAF leader, and sanctions against several Caribbean football officials.
Now however, Blazer finds himself in the dock alongside Warner.
Last month, Simmons accused both men of abusing their “position and power” – with Warner said to have failed to disclose the creation of a $25.9 million CONCACAF center of excellence on his land, while Blazer was accused of mismanaging funds.
Both men have denied any wrongdoing.
Read: Provisional ban for ExCo member Manilal
FIFA has been affected by numerous corruption scandals in recent times, which do not only involve the likes of Warner, Blazer and Manilal.
Last week, former president Joao Havelange - who ruled the organization between 1974 and 1988 - resigned as FIFA’s honorary president after the 96-year-old was ruled to have taken bribes in a report by ethics chairman Eckert.