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Jack: Rights reward for helping Blatter

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Jack: Rights reward for helping Blatter

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PORT OF SPAIN – Jack Warner said FIFA was “disingenuous and dishonest” to selectively respond to his accusations about how he acquired lucrative World Cup TV rights.
The former FIFA vice-president said he had documented proof that he was given the rights as a reward for helping Blatter to win the post of FIFA president over the last decade.
Warner previously claimed that he acquired the 1998 World Cup TV rights for US$1 through a Mexican company and secured the rights for subsequent World Cups after helping Blatter win bruising battles for the presidency.
FIFA responded last week and said Warner had been awarded the rights at a nominal fee from as far back as 1986 and it was standard practice in the organization as a means of helping smaller nations develop the game.
“To choose to respond only to the allegation that FIFA sold to me the FIFA World Cup rights for Trinidad and Tobago for US$1 in 1998 and refuse to even comment on the other accusations that the FIFA World Cup Rights for 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 were also sold to me at a nominal fee is nothing more than deception,” said Warner in a statement on Friday.
“All of these were given to me based on the critical roles I played in guaranteeing the FIFA presidency to Sepp Blatter.
Warner also quoted from a note signed by current FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke, but it was not clear if it related to the issue of the World Cup rights.
“FIFA must be aware of the fact that I still have in my possession the contracts which were given to me, as well as personal notes which were handwritten and signed that will corroborate my accusations, and as such should be honest in its reporting to the international community,” said Warner, the former president of CONCACAF.
Warner also challenged FIFA to deny that he was promised the TV rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups at a nominal fee as a gift for supporting Blatter in the 2011 FIFA presidential race.
“FIFA however damns itself for withdrawing the said FIFA World Cup rights for 2018 and 2022 after it was alleged that I refused to support the presidency of Mr Blatter,” he said.
“These actions can stand alone as demonstrative of the fact that there has been a relationship between the roles I played in the success of Blatter’s presidential campaigns and the award of FIFA World Cup rights to me.”
Warner, the former Caribbean Football Union president, concluded that contrary to FIFA claims, “gift-giving” in the sport’s World governing body was commonplace and it has remained this way. (CMC)