Blazer to Step Down in December

Claus-like figure Chuck Blazer, who has been CONCACAF’s general secretary since 1990, announced yesterday that he will resign his post at the end of 2011.

Blazer has been involved with U.S. Soccer since the mid-1980s, when he was in charge of the U.S. national teams. (He launched the women’s U.S. national team that year.)

In his 21 years with CONCACAF, he is credited with boosting the organization’s revenues from $140,000 to $40 million, according to Soccer America.

He started the Gold Cup, the regional tournament contested every two years, and he founded the CONCACAF Champions League, the regional club championship whose winner qualifies for the FIFA Club World Cup.

In May of 2011 Blazer made headlines by accusing his former boss, ex-CONCACAF president Jack Warner, and former Asian confederation head Mohamed bin Hammam, of attempting to bribe numerous Caribbean delegates to vote for bin Hamman in the FIFA presidential election.

Blazer’s accusations set off a farcical chain of events in which Warner’s interim successor, Lisle Austin, attempted to fire Blazer and was subsequently suspended by CONCACAF’s executive committee.

In Warner’s and Austin’s world—which has apparently sent an envoy to Blazer’s Wikipedia page—the controversy continues. But for most U.S. soccer types, the scandal has been put to bed and now is a time for reflecting on Blazer’s impact—as Soccer America’s Paul Kennedy does here—and speculating about his future.

In addition to his regional position, Blazer is a member of FIFA’s executive committee, a post he will retain at least until his current term ends in 2013.

According to the AP, Blazer said he would entertain the idea of working for a club, but had no comment “on the possibility that he could join one of the groups bidding for Major League Soccer’s 20th team, which MLS would like to place in the New York area as a rival to the Red Bulls.”

The current leader among those groups is the one that bought the rights to the New York Cosmos name and has installed Eric Cantona and Cobi Jones as executives.

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