The former U.S. FIFA executive committee member pleaded guilty of taking bribes in connection with the 1998 and 2010 World Cups, U.S. prosecutors revealed Wednesday.
Chuck Blazer, a U.S. citizen, secretly pleaded guilty in a New York court in 2013 to 10 criminal counts, including racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering, income tax evasion and failure to report foreign bank accounts.
"Among other things, I agreed with other persons in or around 1992 to facilitate the acceptance of a bribe in conjunction with the selection of the host nation for the 1998 World Cup," Blazer told the court in 2013, according to partially blacked out transcript released by prosecutors.
Blazer has become known as the FIFA whistleblower for agreeing to help build the corruption case that recently led to a 47-count indictment charging 14 top soccer officials and sports marketers with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies. When government officials accused him of tax evasion, Blazer reportedly wore a hidden microphone to record other soccer officials at the 2012 London Olympics.
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The FIFA whistleblower confessed that he also accepted bribes during the decision process for the 2010 World Cup.
"I and others on the FIFA executive committee agreed to accept bribes in conjunction with the selection of South Africa as the host nation for the 2010 World Cup," he said.
In his position as FIFA executive committee member from 1997 to 2013 and as the general secretary of CONCACAF from 1990 to 2011, Blazer had accumulated US$11 million in unreported income, according to investigators. The income came in part from kickbacks he gained from kickbacks for the CONCACAF affiliated Gold Cups.
"In and around 1993 and continuing through the early 2000s, I and others agreed to accept bribes and kickbacks in conjunction with the broadcast and other rights to the 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2003 Gold Cups," Blazer said.