Chuck Blazer, FIFA scandal whistleblower, dead at 72

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The eccentric bon vivant who once strode across the global stage being flattered by sport and political leaders eager to capture his World Cup hosting vote died in disgrace on Wednesday at age 72.

The official served on Fifa's executive committee from 1997-2013, during which time he pocketed millions to fund a globe-trotting VIP lifestyle. He even had a pet parrot. When the Trinidadian won, he made Blazer the general secretary - a position he held until 2011.

The rest, as they say, is history.

He cooperated. His then-domestic partner, Mary Lynn Blanks, told Reuters in a 2016 article that she accompanied Blazer to soccer-related events while he was acting as an informant for USA investigators, sometimes wearing a bugging device.

The fact that Blazer's case never came to trial (although he pleaded guilty to 10 charges carrying a maximum concurrent imprisonment term of 75 years he was given immunity from prosecution) will cause consternation among his enemies but in recent months, as he closed down communication channels, his health deteriorated badly.

But he also personally enriched himself and was emblematic of the greed and corruption that festered within world football for many years.

In 2015, he was banned from Federation Internationale de Football Association permanently as a corruption scandal unfolded across world soccer's leaders.

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"We are truly saddened by the passing of our client and friend, Chuck Blazer", attorneys Eric Corngold and Mary Mulligan said in a statement given to the BBC and AFP.

"His misconduct, for which he accepted full responsibility, should not obscure Chuck's positive impact on worldwide soccer".

"Chuck felt profound sorrow and regret for his actions".

"His misconduct, for which he accepted full responsibility, should not obscure Chuck's positive impact on worldwide soccer", his lawyers said.

Any recordings Blazer made after agreeing to become an Federal Bureau of Investigation informant and wear a wire could still come into evidence without his testimony, said Timothy Heaphy, a former USA attorney now in private practice.

Soccer corruption had been rumoured for years before Blazer accused his boss, CONCACAF President Jack Warner of corrupt practices.

Warner continues to fight extradition from his native Trinidad and Tobago but even he is not the highest-profile figure to have been directly or indirectly affected by Blazer's evidence.