Chuck Blazer

Follow the rise of a boy hustler from Queens who graduated from high school at 15, played gin rummy for tuition and spending money at NYU, and scammed the creators of the Smiley Face button at a family factory. The canny, always scheming Westchester dad stumbled into his real pot of gold on the green fields of youth soccer and parlayed his role as a lowly kid coach to the very pinnacle of world soccer on FIFA’s exalted Executive Committee. He had a keen eye for a growing market and knew how to boost tournaments to fill soccer association coffers — and his own pockets. When he first took over as general secretary at CONCACAF it was a broke, rickety regional soccer organization. After he launched his schemes, it was awash in cash, and no one reveling in the flood of revenue was complaining — or asking questions.