Concacaf general secretary Chuck Blazer has denied he is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).The American football official, best known as the whistle-blower whose bribery allegations led to the resignation of FIFA vice president Jack Warner and the lifetime ban of another vice president, Mohamed Bin Hammam, denied the probe in an e-mail exchange with Britain's Sky News.When asked directly by a Sky News reporter if he denied being under FBI investigation, Blazer replied: "Yes."The revelation of an FBI probe of Blazer was first made by investigative reporter Andrew Jennings who released a detailed report on Saturday with a long list of accusations against Blazer and his lavish lifestyle.Jennings reported, among other things, Blazer received (and repaid) a payment of US$250,000 from the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) which was controlled by Warner.That was in addition to large payments to Blazer in September 2010, it was reported.However, Blazer dismissed the report and described Jennings as "an unreliable blogger who doesn't care much for accuracy or the facts."Responding directly to that allegation, he said: "In the instance of the mentioned US$250,000 payment, Mr Warner owed me the payment of a loan for over five years in the amount remitted.He added: "I was dismayed when he sent it with his accountant drawn on the CFU account, but was told by the accountant not to worry, it would be properly reflected to show it was his money."Since then, Jack has resigned but has not turned over the checking accounts of the CFU to its executive committee and secretariat."I have had to bail them out by providing offices to them in our Miami Concacaf offices to operate the region's competitions.
"Once he has turned over the accounts, we will be able to determine, whether as described by the accountant, the funds were Jack's or if they were not."Blazer said if it was confirmed that the funds "were not properly Jack's", he would return it to the CFU.Blazer further claimed Warner was thwarting the progress of the CFU by not giving it access to its accounts and locking CFU staff out of the office, while providing space for four accounting personnel paid by Concacaf and now exposed as working for the WGOC (Warner Group of Companies).He said: "We are sending investigators into Trinidad to get the information from the banks and to protect our assets."Mr Jennings should be more astute about where his stories come from and what their objectives are. Ours is to clean up the mess that surrounded Jack Warner in Port-of-Spain."Jennings reported the FBI was investigating Blazer's bank accounts for some very suspicious payments and for failure to report income.
He further reported that:
Blazer allegedly held a retreat in his US$3 million apartment at the Reef Atlantis Paradise Island resort last month for Caribbean officials sympathetic to him. He allegedly owns the resort property which is paid for through a series of companies connected to a Nassau bank where he supposedly has an account;
He receives hefty commissions from regional sports marketing companies with connections to Warner, including making $2 million allegedly off one such contract;
Two of his children have worked for him, including his son who currently works as Concacaf's chief medical officer, which pays US$7,000 a month; and
Including an apartment above Concacaf's offices in Trump Towers, Blazer has property in North Carolina (farmhouse) and Miami (waterfront apartment).
Blazer has been at the centre of a raging FIFA controversy for several months, mostly as an accuser.Former Concacaf vice president Lisle Austin, of Barbados, who was recently suspended by FIFA from all soccer activities for a year, said recently in an interview:
"I have repeatedly asked for an independent forensic audit of Concacaf's finances, but to no avail. My struggle is to bring transparency and democracy to regional football, and indeed FIFA."Blazer said he would continue to "fully respond to FIFA, Concacaf and their respective stakeholders."
Commenting on the FBI probe of Blazer, Warner said recently:
"This is the tip of the iceberg. In the fullness of time much more will be revealed. The avalanche is yet to come."