Fifa whistleblower Chuck Blazer: I had to act on evidence of bribery

The 66-year-old says he had no choice but to report suspended duo Mohamed Bin Hammam and Jack Warner to Fifa Ethics Committee when confronted with firm evidence
American soccer administrator and Fifa executive committee member Chuck Blazer is adamant he "had to act" when presented with evidence that presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam and Concacaf chief Jack Warner offered financial incentives to members of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU).

The duo were provisionally suspended from all footballing activity pending a full investigation by Fifa's Ethics Committee after Blazer submitted a report to the game's governing body detailing the bribery allegations.

The scandal has created a constitutional crisis within Fifa and further lowered its reputation and credibility in the eyes of the wider footballing community, but Blazer insists his actions were necessary to combat corruption in the organisation.

"I sat next to Mr. Bin Hammam for 15 years in Fifa and have been general secretary of the [Concacaf] confederation with Jack for 21 years so of course it was difficult," he told reporters. "But what is more difficult is to ignore the fact that attempts were made to suborn members - it really wasn't a choice.

"I said to Jack, 'What are you doing? In 21 years we have never bought a vote, we have had elections and been in office all that time and never bought a vote'.

"I said, 'Now you have allowed this to happen here it completely changes the entire dynamic of the confederation'. Once you have done that you have let the genie of the bottle and for any issue that comes up, people will say, 'Okay, how much are you putting on the table?"'

The American also believes the suspension of Bin Hammam and Warner will serve as a warning to any other powerful individuals within Fifa who seek to abuse their positions.

He added: "I hope we have set a good example, we have expressed the fact that we don't tolerate the type of behaviour that was manifested by senior members.

"That's a message to all members that if you do something wrong it's going to be reported. That's how it will affect compliance. It is a chance for us to make a seminal difference to the way we operate.

"This is the implementation of a system that we put in just a few years ago.

"I'm just the official who fulfilled his obligation that when provided with the information about breaches of evidence by his members gathered together the facts and presented it to Fifa as required under the code of ethics."

Mohamed Bin Hammam has been forced to abandon his candidacy for the Fifa presidency in the wake of his suspension, leaving incumbent Sepp Blatter free to seek a fourth term at the head of the organisation unopposed in the election on Wednesday, but Blazer does not believe the vote should be postponed.

He added: "The election has to go ahead because we have a candidate who is nominated, albeit that Mr. Bin Hammam withdrew. Mr. Blatter's fulfilled the requirements to stand for election, there were no other candidates."

The American also dismissed suggestions that the claims were part of a conspiracy to re-elect Blatter, saying: "That claim is rather frivolous and ludicrous."

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