“American Huckster” tells the sordid story of worldwide cheating in the soccer governing body, FIFA. The subtitle is “How Chuck Blazer Got Rich From-and Sold Out-the Most Powerful Cabal in World Sports.” Researched and written by Mary Papenfuss and Teri Thompson, here is the synopsis of publisher, Harper Collins.
” The first inside account of the international soccer scandal that rocked the world and the American at its center—the incredible story of how a stay-at-home New York soccer dad illegally made millions off the world’s most powerful and corrupt sports organization and became an unlikely FBI whistleblower.
“He was the middle-class Jewish kid from Queens who rose from local youth soccer leagues to the heights of FIFA, becoming a larger-than-life, jet-setting buccaneer—and the most notorious FBI informant in sports history. For years, Chuck Blazer skimmed over $20 million from FIFA, stashing his money in offshore accounts and real estate holdings that included a luxury apartment in Trump Tower, a South Beach condo, and a hideaway in the Bahamas. Instantly recognizable with his unruly mass of salt-and-pepper hair and matching beard—and a rotating crop of arm candy—Blazer was one of the most flamboyant figures in the glitzy social and political circles of international soccer.”
As the US Justice Department began closing in on Blazer, he turned from stealing funds to whistleblower. The information he provided took down dozens of people from across the world that were guilty of the same crimes.
A few years ago I read a book about Bernie Madoff and thought there would never be another scandal that would top that one. How wrong could I have been? Madoff involved a few family members in his scam and with millions of dollars stolen from gullible (and greedy in their own way) investors.
This FIFA soccer scandal established a new gold standard for greed as so many people from so many countries stole money from players and unsuspecting fans of the sport.
I had always thought soccer to be a sport far removed from something like this; the ultimate in fair play. However, driven by greed, this sport like others has now been forever tainted. Greed can ruin almost anything.