Feb 16, 2013, 11:44 AM EDT
Among the many ways to describe Chuck Blazer, influential may be the most boring. It may also most accurate.
A larger-than-life figure whose whose life atop the New York City skyline has become part legend, hyperbole, and fact, the FIFA executive committee member has come to symbolize so much of what the world’s governing body means to the soccer fans. His lifestyle is lavish, there’s speculation that’s fueled through nefarious means, yet he was crucial in a CONCACAF cleanup that ousted corrupt former president Jack Warner. While there may be an irony to that blown whistle, it’s one that may have pushed FIFA as well as North/Central American soccer in a slightly better direction.
After 16 years on FIFA’s executive committee, Blazer has announced he will not seek re-election. Set to leave his office in May, Blazer said via statement that “It is time for new faces with new energy to take over the responsibility of FIFA’s leadership.” The 67-year-old will leave having served five terms.
Between now and then you will surely read more informed retrospectives than I can provide. To me, Blazer is a man with a tremendous beard who exemplifies the strange and unknown world of FIFA’s closed door culture. Rabid speculation depicts those corridors as lined with money-filled paper bags that a fortunate few can pluck at their whim. Blazer is one of the few to detail that world, one we still know so little about.
Regardless, Blazer’s probably right. It is time for new people to take over these leadership positions. No matter what you think of the general paranoia that surrounds these governing bodies’ actions, the days of unscrutinized governance appear to be ending. Like FIFA president Sepp Blatter, Blazer is moving on. For all involved, it’s the right time.
Oct 30, 2014, 3:12 PM EDT
How has the soccer world (via Twitter) responded to the news? With a mixture of interest and humor.
Oct 30, 2014, 2:49 PM EDT
In what will be called “Los Angeles Football Club” as it goes through its branding, MLS has announced that L.A. has officially been awarded another team.
Oct 30, 2014, 2:25 PM EDT
So who do you have tonight: the Red Bulls or the champs?
Oct 30, 2014, 1:35 PM EDT
Mike Prindiville and Joe Prince-Wright join Jenna Corrado to discuss the Manchester Derby between Manchester United and Manchester City.
Oct 30, 2014, 12:38 PM EDT
Like Steve McQueen in “Papillon,” only nattily-attired, the Newcastle United manager just seems to be constantly yelling out, “Hey… I’m still here.”
Oct 30, 2014, 12:09 PM EDT
He’s being linked with Swansea City, though club chairman Huw Jenkins said while the club is entertaining investors, any specific names would be “pure speculation.”
Oct 30, 2014, 11:15 AM EDT
The proposed moves would leave only 10 days prep time before the World Cup began, and would also alter the UEFA Champions League schedule.
Oct 30, 2014, 10:40 AM EDT
What do you think? Mean-spirited to the public or just a decent Candid Camera-style prank?
Oct 30, 2014, 9:51 AM EDT
“I’ve got 30 and 34-year-olds in my locker room in tears because we feel it’s been unfairly taken away from us,” said coach Carl Robinson.
Oct 30, 2014, 9:02 AM EDT
And it’s claimed that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will sign a veteran back from Juventus, bucking his trends of signing attackers and youth.
Oct 30, 2014, 8:19 AM EDT
PSS Sleman and PSIS Semarang have been disqualified from their country’s playoffs after conceding five own goals in their their match.
Oct 30, 2014, 7:44 AM EDT
Michel converted the penalty past David Ousted, and FC Dallas hung on for the win in an otherwise fast-paced, fun game in Texas.
Oct 29, 2014, 11:10 PM EDT
Carlos Vela is set to return to the Mexican National Team making them a much more dangerous side.
Oct 29, 2014, 10:30 PM EDT
Nothing like a behind-the-scenes World Cup doc to pique the interest.
Oct 29, 2014, 9:42 PM EDT
Vincent Tan. Coming to a MLS club near you!
Oct 29, 2014, 8:50 PM EDT
Steve Zakuani. A supremely talented player, forced to call it quits way too early.
Oct 29, 2014, 8:01 PM EDT
Franck Ribery is short but probably not the kind of guy you want to mess with.
Oct 29, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT
A late equalizer from Mario Balotelli helps spur the rally that sees Liverpool into the League Cup quarter-finals.
Oct 29, 2014, 6:08 PM EDT
Add another Arsenal attacker to the roster.
Oct 29, 2014, 5:07 PM EDT
Beware, Premier League footballers. The FA is all over Twitter.
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