CONCACAF suing Warner, Blazer
A federal lawsuit has been filed by the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) against disgraced officials Jack Warner and Chuck Blazer, court documents have revealed.
The governing body is seeking $20 million (£15.6 million/€18.6 million) damages “to redress the harms caused by Warner and Blazer’s fraudulent, unfair and unlawful acts as former high ranking officials of CONCACAF,” the complaint reads.
Ex-CONCACAF president Warner is facing extradition in his native Trinidad and Tobago on charges of wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering.
Blazer, a former FIFA Executive Committee member and former CONCACAF general secretary, struck a plea deal in 2013 and turned whistleblower for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
He was key to several FIFA officials being arrested in Zurich in May 2015.
The 71-year-old former FIFA Executive Committee member and Warner conspired to accept bribes in connection with the 1998 and 2010 World Cup bid processes, won by France and South Africa respectively.
In the complaint, filed at the US District Court in Eastern New York, CONCACAF say the two officials accepted a $10 million (£8 million/€9.3 million) bribe from South Africa to vote for the country in the 2010 race.
“Warner and Blazer also sold CONCACAF’s vote to select the host of the 2010 World Cup in exchange for bribes for their personal enrichment in violation of their fiduciary duties owed to CONCACAF,” it reads.
“Blazer, using several shell entities, including the Blazer Entities, pilfered CONCACAF’s coffers by misappropriating CONCACAF funds, including by transferring CONCACAF funds to his personal accounts and using CONCACAF funds for personal expenses including several luxury apartments located in New York.”
The complaint also says that Warner knew what was happening with regards to Blazer, but did not act.
The CONCACAF was at the epicentre of widespread financial wrongdoing within football, with three of their previous four Presidents before Canadian Victor Montagliani was elected last year indicted by the United States Department of Justice (DoJ).
Honduran Alfredo Hawit and Jeffrey Webb of the Cayman Islands were also implicated, along with Warner.
They have all been banned from all footballing activity for life, while Hawit and Webb have pleaded guilty to corruption charges in the US.
Their illicit actions over the past two decades, largely involving millions of dollars of bribes and kickbacks related to media and marketing rights for major international matches and tournaments, rocked CONCACAF to its core and plunged the governing body into an unprecedented crisis.