"Much of the problem with the report is that it is opinion masquerading as fact," said Blazer. "The general secretary is not just doing his job. He appears to be acting politically."
Blazer says the reason CONCACAF was singled out so particularly in the report is because it is a favorite target.
"We were a solid bloc vote for Blatter in 1998, and any break in that would provide votes (to Issa Hayatou, challenger) that otherwise would have gone to Blatter. We are still solid."
Blazer counters that Blatter, as far as CONCACAF sees it, actually is the one fighting against corruption.
"These cries for transparency, I guess that is the new word, have been met since Blatter came in," said Blazer. "Rather than two executive committee meetings, there have been four scheduled. And, in fact, I think six or seven held.
"With regard to (Blatter's) appointments, he did not just choose his allies or friends, he spread things around very broadly. You have Hayatou chairing the Olympic committee, (Lennart) Johansson on the World Cup committee. ... There was a very reasonable distribution. There was no attempt to consolidate a power bloc.
"Also, when I think about budgets, we used to see a budget and then there was a few minutes of discussion before it passed. On March 8, budgets were given out with 67 pages of overheads and key accounts and the ISL/ISMM issue. Unfortunately, people did not want to hear about it."
According to Blazer, the reason CONCACAF supports Blatter is clear -- the president supports programs dear to CONCACAF.
"We have seen so much more from FIFA and so much more information," he said. "When we started the GOAL program, it was very hard to get it off the ground. It was held up for a year. And now that it is going, we are seeing rewards from the wealth and monies that FIFA has garnered.
"The fact is, these things -- building fields, etc. -- are good for the members. This is not buying votes, these are tangible rewards, with real money and real fields being built. It is a shame to see this kind of thing tarnished."
Blazer also says that Europe would not support these programs, and there he may have a point. It is true that from Trinidad to Barbados to Jamaica, new fields and new facilities have been built, and that CONCACAF looks the better for it.
Blazer also says that UEFA would not support the Club Championships or the Confederations Cup.
"UEFA has been an obstacle," Blazer said bluntly. "To us, this is simple, and I have fought with (Johansson) over this."
Yet, the matter of the $9.2 million loan to Warner does seem dubious.
"Warner received nothing," claims Blazer. "That money was a sum for the Center For Excellence, and we had to forgo our annual $2.3 million grant from FIFA as well. That was just a matter of getting it in a lump sum to build the facility."
One area where Blazer does not contest Zen-Ruffinen is in the figures, which show that FIFA is short an astonishing amount of money.
"Yeah, they are correct," Blazer said.
But Blazer claims that the severity of the problems are magnified by the way that FIFA accounts for its cash.
"FIFA uses a cash-accrual system of accounting, as opposed to the IAS (International Audit Standard) system, which it will switch to in 2003," he said. "As a result, the numbers seem more shocking than they are.
"Yes, the numbers add up, but they are not correctly compared because of the difference in the two methods. And any look at a one-year slice is misleading. They are comparing numbers not met in the budget, as opposed to actual losses."
Blazer also notes that the failure of ISL/ISMM is hardly FIFA's fault, and that 9/11 changed business for many.
"After that, a lot of businesses took a hit, not just us," he said.