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June 24, 2011

FIFA’s leaked report reveals bribery evidence

Warner, who also happens to be a Trinidad and Tobago government minister quit his soccer positions while insisting that he would have been "fully exonerated by any objective arbiter."

By Stephen Lars

On a report that the Associated Press had access to, Jack Warner, the then-FIFA vice president was catalogued as an accessory to bribery who offered "mere self-serving declarations" at a hearing last month. This hearing came after FIFA didn’t want to risk things and provisionally suspended Jack Warner and Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar after certain allegations where made that accused the two of accepting and or offering briberies to manipulate delegates.

Jack Warner doesn’t really have the cleanest record when it comes to this sort of things. The thing with Warner is that this is only one of the few accusations he has received against his managing of funds

The 17-page report was sent last week to Warner, a 28-year veteran of FIFA's ruling executive committee who led the North, Central American and Caribbean regional body since 1990. Jack Warner doesn’t really have the cleanest record when it comes to this sort of things. The thing with Warner is that this is only one of the few accusations he has received against his managing of funds. On May 24, 2011 FIFA’s ethics committee began official proceedings against Warner concerning at least three separate corruption and bribery charges. He has been accused of sealing World Cup tickets on the black market for the World Cups of 2002 and 2006. As a matter of fact, FIFA had him pay a 1 million dollar fee when FIFA’s auditors made an internal investigation and realized that there had been some wrongdoings.

Days after receiving the 17-page report, Warner, who also happens to be a Trinidad and Tobago government minister quit his soccer positions while insisting that he would have been "fully exonerated by any objective arbiter."

On May 10, 2011, former chairman of the Football Association, Lord Triesman, accused Warner and several others FIFA employees of asking for compensation in return for votes for England’s 2018 World Cup bid. Warner reportedly asked for £2.5 million that would go toward building an education centre in Trinidad. Sir Dave Richards, the chairman of the Premier League, who was present at the meeting, confirmed that the intention of cash for votes was implied, although it was not explicitly stated. Warner said that these allegations where nonsensical, but it seems that FIFA didn’t want to take its chances and decided to suspend him anyway.

The ethics panel, headed by Namibian judge Petrus Damaseb, studied witness statements from officials representing four Caribbean federations who were allegedly offered brown envelopes stuffed with $100 bills after hearing bin Hammam's election pitch on May 10.

"It appears rather compelling to consider that the actions of Mr. bin Hammam constitute prima facie an act of bribery, or at least an attempt to commit bribery," the report said.

The panel found "comprehensive, convincing and overwhelming evidence" that Warner arranged the meeting specifically to enable corruption. It was "impossible" to think Warner was unaware of the payments and their intention to influence how CFU members voted.

About the Author


Stephen Lars is a prominent sports blogger and currently covers the Sports news, previews and handicaps for the BetIAS Sportsbook. You may reprint this article in its full content, please note no modifications to it are accepted.

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