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Qatar 2022 World Cup scandal: Reports of former Fifa vice-president paid millions by Qatari firm

Mar 18, 2014, 6:49 AM EDT

Trinidad and Tobago's National Security Minister Jack Warner talks with journalists after a meeting with residents in Port of Spain

With Fifa’s name dragged through the mud time and time again, these latest allegations are set to rock the soccer world.

The former vice-president of soccer’s world governing body and President of CONCACAF for over two decades, Jack Warner, has been accused of receiving over $2.3 million from a Qatari firm, just days after the 2022 World Cup was awarded to the Middle East country.

According to an investigation by British newspaper, The Telegraph, Warner appears to have been personally paid $1.2 million from a company controlled by a former Qatari soccer official just after the decision to award the desert country the World Cup. Allegedly, another $750,000 was also paid to Mr Warner’s sons and a further $400,000 was paid to one of his employees.

Warner, Fifa’s vice-president for 14 years until 2011 when he stepped down following a Fifa ethics committee found him guilty of encouraging bribes. A report from the ethics committee said there was “compelling” evidence that Mr Warner was “an accessory to corruption.”

When approached by the Telegraph in his Trinidad home but refused to comment on the payments when asked about them. Warner is currently being investigated by the FBI, with reports about bank accounts in the Cayman Islands and New York are being scrutinized, and his eldest son who lives in Miami is said to be co-operating with their investigation.

(MORE: Warner resigns as national security minister of Trinidad & Tobago following fraud report)

Reportedly the documents unearthed by the Telegraph’s in-depth investigation, which saw numerous journalists scour the globe to find out details on the alleged deals, state that two weeks after Qatar won the right to host the 2022 World Cup, a statement dated December 15, 2010 was made “payable to Jack Warner” by Qatar’s Fifa executive Mohamed Bin Hammam.

Also the Telegraph claims that Warner’s two sons and an employee were paid a further $1 million by the same Qatari company, where a document allegedly states the payments were to “offset legal and other expenses”, but another letter claims more than $1 million cover “professional services provided over the period 2005-2010”.

Warner, 71, was one of the 22 members of the Fifa executive committee which voted to give Russia the 2018 World Cup and then controversially hand the 2022 tournament to Qatar. Looking back on the decision made in 2010, it was one of the most sensational stories in soccer history as the tiny Arabic nation was handed one of the world’s biggest events. At the time, I remember thinking that something didn’t quite add up as bribery allegations were rife even before the announcement was made in 2010, after two Fifa members were found guilty of agreeing to sell their votes six weeks before the decision was made.

More fallout on Warner will arrive in the next few days and hours, but the 2022 World Cup in Qatar continues to be encapsulated with controversy. A spokesman for the Qatar World Cup had the following to say.

“The 2022 bid committee strictly adhered to Fifa’s bidding regulations in compliance with their code of ethics. The supreme committee for delivery and legacy and the individuals involved in the 2022 bid committee are unaware of any allegations surrounding business dealings between private individuals.”

  1. vin904 - Mar 18, 2014 at 8:50 AM

    America will gladly step in and host that World Cup!

  2. vin904 - Mar 18, 2014 at 8:52 AM

    It was pretty obvious someone was getting paid for Qatar to land that WC

  3. geojock - Mar 18, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    USA gets what it deserves for having a guy like Jack Warner in charge of CONCACAF. USA had to know the guy was shady. USA should have stepped up and made their weight felt in CONCACAF a long time ago.

    • chewy59 - Mar 18, 2014 at 12:04 PM

      Its not so cut and dried. US is not a traditional soccer power, they have spent the last 25 years trying to build up the game in this country and with a quite a bit of success. However, it is no secret FIFA is corrupt, everyone in the world knows this. When Warner took the reins of CONCACAF in 1990, the US was in no position to throw any weight around then. Its really only in the last 5-10 years that they had the strength and ability to start truly push an agenda in the region.

      In addition, knowing FIFA is corrupt, and trying to get the 2022 World Cup, if you call out the VP of FIFA (Jack Warner) then you effectively are destroying your own World Cup bid. So they are forced to play FIFA’s game if they want a chance to host. Look at what happened once they lost the bid. American Chuck Blazer exposes the corruption and bribes that occurred under Jack Warner and what is FIFA’s response? They go after Chuck Blazer for corruption and leave Jack Warner alone.

    • tomcatfl - Mar 18, 2014 at 4:45 PM

      Jack Warner was the head of CONCACAF despite the US, not because of the US.

  4. dfstell - Mar 18, 2014 at 9:58 AM

    Of course there is corruption….The only people who could really fix it are the people who are almost within the inner circle where they will RECEIVE the corrupt money. Why would they want to reform? They are next in line to get their multi-million dollar payday.

  5. midtec2005 - Mar 18, 2014 at 10:56 AM


  6. jucam1 - Mar 18, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    The US diesn’t run Concacaf itself, and I’ve been to awful Trinidad before on business, it’s a humid industrial disaster!. But everyone in that country knows how insanely corrupt Jack Warner is!. He’s been indicted like 50 times for corruption there, so of course he was going to take bribes!. But so does Sapp, and most of the other federations and FIFA leadership around the world. In whose mind would it fit to have a cup in Quatar in the summertime if not for bribes!… I’ve been there for business too, you’re shoes start melting to the pavement if your out in the sun for too long!. You can say what you want about Motor sports, the NBA, and other suspect leagues out there, but for shear corruption, graft, and the gaul to not even try to cover it up properly, FIFA is hands down the most corrupt sports organization in the planet. And I say that with the IOC just having bent over to Russia’s disastrous rights, corruption, and insanity record.

  7. kevindlindstrom - Mar 18, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    How FIFA allowed that vote to go forward with all that was going on, and letting it stand with all that has come out since, is beyond me.

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