Chuck Blazer, a former FIFA executive committee member and a key player in the ongoing corruption investigation into international soccer’s governing body, had admitted taking bribes.
In a 40-page document that federal prosecutors released Wednesday, Blazer tells the court that he and other members of the FIFA executive committee took bribes between 2004 and 2011 and helped South Africa land the 2010 World Cup.
He also describes facilitating a bribe in connection with the 1998 World Cup bidding process.
U.S. officials have said in another court document that the bribe that Blazer helped to negotiate was paid by Moroccan officials to an unnamed member of FIFA’s executive committee. Morocco’s bid for the Cup was unsuccessful. France was awarded the 1998 finals.
Jacques Lambert, head of France’s 1998 World Cup organizing committee, dismissed any notion that France paid a bribe in an interview with France Info radio Thursday, adding that he couldn’t speak for the rival nations.
Lambert said a member of the French committee who met with Warner at the time had assured him “the only thing M. Warner asked for, is that the French team comes to play a 94 World Cup preparation game at Trinidad and Tobago.”
Jerome Champagne, ex-deputy secretary general of FIFA, told CNN’s French affiliate BFMTV that “the corrupters know very well who they can corrupt.”