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Blazer Remains General Secretary of Concacaf, Ruling Body Says

Chuck Blazer remains general secretary of Concacaf after Acting President Lisle Austin fired him without authority, the regional ruling soccer body said.

“Chuck Blazer continues as Concacaf general secretary and with the full authority of his office,” Concacaf said on its website today. “Jurisdiction over the general secretary rests solely with the Concacaf executive committee, which has taken no action.”

Austin said in an e-mail that he sent a letter of dismissal to Blazer just before midnight local time in his hotel room in Zurich, where he’s attending world governing body FIFA’s congress. Austin said he took the action because “the confederation cannot afford to be further dragged through the mud by its detractors.”

Blazer, who has been a member of FIFA’s executive committee since 1996, has alleged that Mohamed Bin Hammam, the Qatari head of soccer in Asia, and former Concacaf president Jack Warner offered $40,000 bribes to soccer officials in the Caribbean in return for votes for Bin Hammam in FIFA’s presidential election.

Bin Hammam and Warner, who deny wrongdoing, were suspended by the governing body pending a full inquiry. Bin Hammam withdrew from the election, leaving three-term President Sepp Blatter as the sole candidate in today’s vote.

Austin said he also informed Blatter and FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke that he’d fired Blazer, a 66-year-old American who didn’t immediately return an e-mail and text message seeking comment.

Nightmares for Years

Warner was replaced by Austin as president at the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football after being suspended. Warner, from Trinidad, had been president of Concacaf since 1990. Austin had been vice-president since 1992.

Blazer said in a May 29 interview that he’ll have “nightmares” about the bribery case for years and that he was sorry his 21-year relationship with Warner had broken down.

The scandal has roiled FIFA, a not-for-profit body that earns $4 billion from the quadrennial World Cup. Blatter said on the first day of the congress that the allegations have left the organization “unstable” and in danger.

Sponsors including Visa Inc., the biggest bank card network, Coca-Cola Co., the world’s biggest soft-drinks maker, and Emirates, the world’s biggest airline by international traffic, have said the scandal is a concern.

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