FIFA Scandal: New evidence implicates Morrocco
Morocco has been roped into the current corruption scandal, which threatens to tear FIFA apart. After arrests were first made on May 27, new evidences have emerged, which bring different angles to the corruption scandal.
First, there was the discovery of a questionable $10 million payment by South Africa which has led to questions over the 2010 World Cup and now it appears another African nation, Morocco, will be in the spotlight.
After prosecutors unsealed the transcript of a hearing by former FIFA executive committee member Chuck Blazer, it has been discovered that Blazer told a U.S. federal judge that he, alongside others on FIFA’s executive committee, had an agreement to take bribes to the process of voting for the host nations of FIFA World Cups in 1998 and 2010. The hearing was held in 2013 but the testimony had remained sealed until recently.
“Beginning in or around 2004 and continuing through 2011, 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,” Blazer said.
This once again brings the $10 million payment by South Africa into question but South Africa Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula has insisted the money was not a bribe. South Africa eventually defeated Morocco 14-10 in the host vote for the 2010 World Cup.
Critically for Morocco’s involvement, Blazer also admitted his involvement in taking bribes around 1992 in the process of voting for the 1998 World Cup host which Morocco bid for but was eventually awarded to France. “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,” said Blazer. Documents from the hearing suggest that a $1 million payment was offered by a bid representative from Morocco.
Blazer was previously an influential football official having served in important capacities with CONCACAF between 1990 and 2011 where he infamously collected 10 percent of all revenuegenerated through his dealings for the body. Blazer was also a member of FIFA’s executive committee from 1997-2013.