(Reuters) – FIFA executive committee member Chuck Blazer was provisionally suspended today, less than one month after he was accused of financial mismanagement in his role as general secretary of the CONCACAF confederation.
The 68-year-old American, who is due to stand down from the executive committee on May 30, was suspended by FIFA’s ethics committee with immediate effect.
Soccer’s world ruling body said the decision was made because “….various breaches of the FIFA code of ethics appear to have been committed by Chuck Blazer.”
The announcement came less than one week after fellow FIFA executive committee member Vernon Manilal Fernando of Sri Lanka was banned for eight years for unethical behaviour.
Blazer and former CONCACAF president Jack Warner were described last month as being “fraudulent in their management” of the continental confederation’s affairs by the head of its Integrity Committee.
David Simmons presented CONCACAF’s congress in Panama with a detailed report into allegations of financial mismanagement by former president Warner and ex-general secretary Blazer based on documents and interviews with 38 people.
Simmons said Blazer received more than US$20 million in compensation from CONCACAF, including US$17 million in commission.
He added that Blazer worked without a contract from July 18, 1998 and his compensation was discussed only three times in CONCACAF forums during 21 years.
The report also found “no business reason” for the renting of apartments used by Blazer in Manhattan and said the American had tried to buy property in the Bahamas, in 2007, for about US$4 million using football funds.
Blazer was described by Simmons as “entirely negligent” for failing to file income tax returns for CONCACAF in the United States which led to the body losing its tax-exempt status as a non-profit organisation.
Blazer stepped down as CONCACAF general secretary in December 2011. He has previously denied any wrongdoing.