It ain’t easy getting answers from Chuck Blazer
It’s been a fascinating decade investigating Fifa corruption and, from time to time, delving into the stinking mess that Conacaf became under the joint leadership of President Jack Warner and General Secretary Chuck Blazer.
Television viewers around the world have enjoyed – or alternatively wept – at the grossness of Jack Warner’s animated answers to questions about his industrial-scale World Cup ticket rackets. Spitting and hitting was his preferred response.
All this time Chuck Blazer was silent. He made no public criticism of Warner’s rackets and, it appears, was also looting Concacaf and the Caribbean Football Union.
Wanna buy some World Cup tickets?
Blazer has also been involved in World Cup ticket rackets. The secondary tickets guys say he has been at it since the World Cup in America in 1994. I possess documents revealing some of his deals and if he ever sues me, I will be delighted to present them to the court of his choice. Will Fifa’s Ethics Committee ask me for copies? (stop laughing over there!)
MEANWHILE . . . the upheavals at Concacaf after Chuck turned in his pal Jack to the Fifa anti-corruption brigade – no official is immune! (stop laughing over there!) - produced a flow of revelatory documents.
Ethical journalism requires reporters to put allegations to individuals before publication. It’s known as Right To Reply – in the trade we call it R2R.
July 14, 2011: Email to Chuck Blazer asking him 7 questions about the astonishing information that he trousers 10% of Concacaf’s sponsor and marketing revenues. And that Concacaf’s annual accounts do not make clear that he is the lucky guy. And what does he earn from the organisation? And what on earth was he doing cashing a personal cheque for $250,000 from the Caribbean Football Union?
Granularity – you know what he means
July 15, 2011: Chuck replies. He never uses 5 words when he can fill a page with hundreds. Chuck also likes us to know that he knows words we don’t. See ‘granularity.’ So he must be cleverer than the rest of us.
He confirms the 10% - then without offering any evidence claims it is consistent with something he doesn’t define – ‘industry standards.’ Chuck dodges the question most of us would like answered – how much does he earn – and won’t say why he is dodging.
That story was published here:
Jennings is a ‘useless journalist’
July 17, 2011: Within hours of publication Chuck is emailing. He thinks its OK to keep Concacaf’s accounts private – even Blatter puts some brief figures online. He claims, ‘You chose to totally ignore the responses we sent.’
That is not true. He replied a day after deadline but I had managed to summarise his admission about the 10%. Towards the end of his blast he mutates from ‘I’ to the Royal ‘We.’ Some might think this evidence of delusions. And he expresses an opinion: ‘You are useless as a journalist.’
August 31, 2011: This is out of sequence but Warner eventually addresses Blazer’s claim that the $250,000 was repayment of a personal loan. Warner says that it’s a lie’ – but doesn’t explain why a total of $750,000 was allegedly paid from the CFU to Blazer. Believe what you like.
August 9, 2011: Back to chronology. A lot more documents have come my way. I send Mr Blazer 20 specific questions about Concacaf employing his son Jason, some big cheques, offshore bank accounts, properties and an antique Mercedes he keeps garaged in Zurich. And what did America’s taxation authorities, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) know about his offshore assets?
August 11, 2011: Chuck replies. He ignores all 20 questions. All he has to say is that it is ‘completely inappropriate’ to question him putting his son Jason on Concacaf’s payroll. Shame I never mentioned him fixing a job for daughter Marci at Fifa. Chuck tosses in an insult that I ‘have little regard for the truth.’
Answers still wanted for 20 questions
August 12, 2011: Getting near to planned publication deadline so I email Mr Blazer pointing out that he didn’t answer any of the 20 questions.
August 12, 2011: On legal advice I send this message to Blazer.
August 12, 2011: Blazer replies. He is still not answering any of the 20 questions. He has a dig at Warner which may or may not be justified.
August 12, 2011: Blazer’s final response. There’s nothing for the IRS to be concerned about. So that’s alright.
August 20, 2011: Chuck waits a week and then responds on his blog. Except he doesn’t answer any of the questions or issues. But he promises we will soon be treated to ‘real information.’