Jack lashes FIFA again
GENEVA – Former football official Jack Warner claims FIFA gifted him $6 million toward a training centre in Trinidad to support Sepp Blatter’s first election as president in 1998.
Warner says a deal in May 1998 with then-FIFA president Joao Havelange ensured backing from the CONCACAF region for Blatter in what turned out to be a tight contest against Lennart Johansson.
“Blatter would never have seen the light of day as president of FIFA without 30 CONCACAF votes,” Warner said in a speech distributed to international media yesterday.
It’s the latest attack on FIFA since Warner promised a “tsunami” of revelations after the then-FIFA vice president was implicated in a bribery scandal while opposing Blatter’s latest election two years ago.
Warner’s claim details his ownership of the Trinidad centre of excellence, now valued at $22.5 million. Last week, an integrity panel accused him of fraudulently managing the body running soccer in North and Central America and the Caribbean.
Warner spoke to his Trinidad constituents late Thursday, days after resigning from the island’s government amid the latest soccer scandal to implicate the longtime FIFA power broker.
He also published letters apparently showing Havelange agreed to convert FIFA’s loan of $6 million into a donation to him and the Caribbean Football Union.
“I told Havelange that, through him, Blatter will get CONCACAF’s total support,” Warner said. “Blatter had been at this time the most hated FIFA official by both the European and African confederations.
“I was Blatter’s idol then and he was mine.”
FIFA declined to comment in detail “on any allegations made by Jack Warner”.
“In general, anyone who has any substantiated allegations to make is welcome to address such allegations to the relevant bodies at FIFA, including the independent Ethics Committee,” FIFA said in a statement. (AP)