[:en]Ex FIFA official admits to taking bribe[:]

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A former executive committee member of football’s global governing body FIFA told a US judge in 2013 that he took bribes in connection with the 1998 and 2010 World Cups, according to a partial release of his testimony.

US prosecutors on Wednesday unsealed the transcript of the 2013 hearing in US District Court in New York during which Chuck Blazer agreed to plead guilty of racketeering and other charges.


Blazer said: “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.”

The former No 2 official of football in North and Central America and the Caribbean also said he arranged bribes around 1992 in the vote for which country would host the 1998 World Cup.

Blazer, a US citizen, secretly pleaded guilty to 10 criminal counts in federal court in New York as part of an agreement with US prosecutors, according to the transcript of the hearing.

Blazer’s cooperation helped build a sprawling corruption case that has led to charges against top FIFA figures and helped prompt the resignation of long-time president Sepp Blatter.

The latest revelation comes as the FBI’s investigation surrounding FIFA has now expanded to include the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, according to reports.

The review would be part of a probe that goes beyond the allegations of bribery in a US indictment of FIFA officials announced a week ago, an official said.

Aljazeera/Abu

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