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FIFA Bans Former Executive Committee Member Chuck Blazer For Life

Chuck Blazer, then-CONCACAF general secretary, attends a news conference in Frankfurt, Germany, on Feb. 14, 2005. FIFA banned him today for life over "various acts of misconduct."
Bernd Kammerer

FIFA has banned its former executive committee member Chuck Blazer from taking part in any aspect of soccer for life.

"Mr Blazer committed many and various acts of misconduct continuously and repeatedly during his time as an official in different high-ranking and influential positions at FIFA and CONCACAF," FIFA said in a statement. "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."

Blazer, if you recall, was the highest-ranking American in soccer's governing body for years, and served as general secretary of CONCACAF, which runs the sport in North America and Central America, as well as the Caribbean.

He was one of 14 FIFA figures indicted by the Justice Department in May in connection with a corruption scheme that earned more than $150 million in bribes and kickbacks over the past two decades. Blazer, who has pleaded guilty and turned informant against corruption in FIFA, is said to have personally misappropriated $15 million during that period.

Today's decision was based on an investigation by FIFA's ethics committee.

The corruption scandal at soccer's governing body forced the resignation in June of its chief, Sepp Blatter, who had been re-elected to another term as president just days earlier. He said he will stay on as president until a successor is elected.

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Krishnadev Calamur is NPR's deputy Washington editor. In this role, he helps oversee planning of the Washington desk's news coverage. He also edits NPR's Supreme Court coverage. Previously, Calamur was an editor and staff writer at The Atlantic. This is his second stint at NPR, having previously worked on NPR's website from 2008-15. Calamur received an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri.
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