Chuck Blazer, the larger-than-life American soccer executive who became the symbol of the excesses in worldwide soccer, died on Wednesday at the age of 72.
A CONCACAF investigation report released in 2013 said Blazer "misappropriated CONCACAF funds to finance his personal lifestyle", causing the organization to "subsidize rent on his residence in the Trump Tower in NY; purchase apartments at the Mondrian, a luxury hotel and residence in Miami; sign purchase agreements and pay down payments on apartments at the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas". Photographs posted on it showed him dressed in a Santa outfit and posing with global figures, including a Miss Universe and Nelson Mandela.
He was a close confidante of former CONCACAF President Jack Warner, who is also facing charges in the United States related to the scandal.
"His misconduct, for which he accepted full responsibility, should not obscure Chuck's positive impact on worldwide soccer", the statement added.
Mr. Blazer was so proficient at collecting commissions as a soccer official that he was given the nickname Mr. 10 Percent. About half have pleaded guilty to date, with some set to stand trial this year and more than a dozen indicted defendants remaining out of the reach of the American authorities.
The statement continued: "Chuck felt profound sorrow and regret for his action". He was the U.S. Soccer Federation's executive vice-president from 1984-86, becoming chair of the national teams committee.
Yet his luck ran out when he attempted to hide his true level of income after failing to file tax returns between 2005 and 2010. He also served as the CONCACAF general secretary from 1990-11.
The American, who revealed in 2013 that he had been diagnosed with cancer and diabetes, was banned from football activity for life by world football's governing body in July 2015.
According to one account, Mr Blazer was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and an Internal Revenue Service official in 2011 as he rode his scooter to a favourite NY restaurant.
"Chuck also accepted responsibility for his own conduct by pleading guilty and owning up to his mistakes".