While the American soccer public was waiting for halftime to end during Saturday’s Real Salt Lake-LA Galaxy’s playoff game, the New York Daily News dropped a story sure to shake up the the soccer world; from U.S. Soccer and CONCACAF, all the way up to FIFA headquarters. According to the NY Daily News report, after the conclusion of a long undercover federal investigation …
It appears that former FIFA Executive Committee member Chuck Blazer is fat, and has been fat for years. At least, that’s what the story kept coming back to. Emphasis (underlining) ours:
“But a wide-ranging Daily News investigation revealed the feds flipped the 450-pound Blazer, who at the behest of the FBI and IRS discreetly placed his keychain — a tiny microphone embedded in its specially altered fob — on a nearby table as a parade of international figures visited Blazer at various venues, including the London Olympics.”
“At the middle of it all was the Falstaffian figure of Blazer, who came to inhabit a world of private jets, famous friends, secret island getaways, offshore bank accounts and so much fine food and drink that he eventually needed a fleet of mobility scooters to move from feast to feast.”
Julian Finney-FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images
In news that will surely be a surprise to everyone — discoveries that seemed crucial to the reporting — it seems Chuck Blazer may be overweight. The Daily News sifted through years of information obtained by federal investigators, evidence that tracked the very slow movements of Blazer as he brokered deals for tournaments in the United States up through his involvement with 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosting bids. The research came to one concise conclusion: Chuck Blazer’s bulked up.
“He lived like there was no tomorrow,” said one source. “He ate and drank whatever he pleased. He probably thought he’d be gone before anybody noticed what he had helped himself to.”
“The morbidly obese businessman was zipping along Fifth Ave. to a pricey Manhattan restaurant aboard one of his motorized scooters — a typical night on the town for Blazer, a regular at coveted Table 4 in Elaine’s, the since-shuttered Upper East Side celebrity and media hangout.”
In recent years, the behavior of soccer higher-ups has squeezed its way out of the cloistered American soccersphere and into mainstream news. It appears the increased attention didn’t deter Chuck Blazer from leading a very public, very decadent lifestyle. He reportedly frequented many of New York and Miami’s best known up-scale restaurants, consuming meal after meal, with no regard for portion control or FDA guidelines for caloric intake. Perhaps the most disturbing of the Daily News claims is that even Blazer’s cats were living an unhealthy lifestyle:
“The corrupt and corpulent Blazer, once the sport’s No. 1 powerbroker in the United States, is alleged to have collected untold millions during his 20-year reign — running up a staggering $29 million in credit card charges to help fuel his extravagant lifestyle, which included a pricey Trump Tower apartment for his cats.”
Worldwide, soccer is known to be home to some of the most fit athletes in the world. It’s sad to find out that one of the game’s chief executives has fallen off course. It sends a terrible example to children developing in various youth systems. Sure, you could be Cristiano Ronaldo and spend half your life in a gym, treating your body like a finely tuned instrument designed with a specific purpose … but where is Ronaldo eating dinner? No one knows. You have to wonder if it’s even delicious.
These sort of distractions, piled onto bigger problems like match-fixing allegations and bribery, can only drag the beautiful game deeper into the mud. As the Daily News so painstakingly illustrated — with a number of pointed observations, characterizations and not-at-all-subtle turns of phrase — Chuck Blazer is fat. And his being fat is crucial to understanding what’s wrong with world soccer.
The story also mentioned that Blazer is alleged to have a history of corruption, including tax evasion, money laundering, racketeering and more. It identified serious crimes on all levels of soccer, both domestically and globally. But was this just a way for the four author to pad their word count? Because it took focus away from what seems to be a major obsession: pointing out Chuck Blazer is fat.