Blazer - I had to act
Fifa's Chuck Blazer insists he had no choice but to act after being presented with firm evidence of bribes.
Last Updated: 30/05/11 9:49am
Fifa whistleblower Chuck Blazer insists he had no choice but to act after being presented with firm evidence of bribes.
Blazer, the USA Fifa executive committee member, launched an investigation which resulted in two of football's most powerful figures being suspended pending a full inquiry on Sunday.
Fifa vice-president Jack Warner and Mohamed Bin Hammam, president of the Asian confederation, have been banned from all football-related activities until the probe into claims they paid Caribbean officials 40,000 US dollars each for votes is completed.
A firm of private investigators is to be appointed to carry out a "forensic" inquiry on behalf of Fifa.
Blazer said: "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. 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 out of the bottle and for any issue that comes up, people will say, 'Okay, how much are you putting on the table?"'
Blazer said he hoped the scandal would now force Fifa to bring in better practices and regulations.
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."
Fifa president Sepp Blatter looks set to be re-elected unopposed on Wednesday after Bin Hammam withdrew from the race on Sunday morning.
Blatter was cleared by the ethics committee of a counter-claim by Bin Hammam that he knew about the payments but had not reported them.
Sports minister Hugh Robertson, among others, has said the election should be called off but Blazer insisted Blatter should be re-elected.
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."
Blazer also dismissed suggestions that the claims were part of a conspiracy to re-elect Blatter. He said: "That claim is rather frivolous and ludicrous."