Former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner has informed The Instances that the Garcia report into corruption across the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids is “not even definitely worth the paper it has been written on” and questioned why U.S. Soccer was absolved after he and Sepp Blatter met President Barack Obama.
The report, produced by American lawyer Michael J. Garcia in 2014 however solely launched in full this week, mentioned the England 2018 World Cup bid group was discovered to have “accommodated or a minimum of tried to fulfill the improper request” of govt committee members, together with Warner, forward of the voting in 2010.
The USA’ effort to host the 2022 World Cup, in the meantime, was discovered to have usually adopted FIFA’s bidding guidelines. As an American, Garcia recused himself from the U.S. a part of the investigation.
Warner, who was arrested and charged as a part of the FBI’s probe into money-laundering in 2015 after which banned for all times from collaborating in any football-related exercise, informed the English newspaper in an e-mail that he continues to “sleep very soundly” following the report’s launch.
He wrote in an e-mail: “For me the report will not be even definitely worth the paper it has been written on and naturally not the whopping charge paid for it both. Because it pertains to me personally, I proceed to sleep very soundly at nights for nothing within the report implicates me personally in any sleaze.”
The investigation discovered that Warner had requested England 2018 to seek out his “adopted son” Richard Sebro, a person with no apparent soccer credentials, a job with Tottenham, then at Wembley, earlier than shifting to Aston Villa.
Different favours granted to Warner had been the waiving of a £168,000 debt owed to the Soccer Affiliation by the Jamaican Soccer Federation and the sponsorship of a £36,000 Caribbean Soccer Union gala dinner.
Undisclosed “favours and advantages” had been additionally granted by the FA to a group Warner owned — Joe Public Soccer Membership.
Warner informed The Instances that each one the requests he made to the English FA had been “for different individuals or entities and by no means for my household or me.”
He additionally questioned the choice to absolve the U.S. bidding group, citing a go to that he and then-FIFA president Blatter had made to the White Home in 2009.
He wrote: “I’ve additionally taken be aware that the American investigator has absolved the U.S. Soccer Federation and I ask myself how come? Was this not the identical USSF that facilitated a go to to the White Home for Sepp and me to fulfill Obama? How do you characterise that?
“Was this not the identical USSF that organized for [then-Confederation of African Football president Issa] Hayatou and his ExCo members to do the identical? However then once more that is the U.S. that I assume determines if you happen to fall, reside or die.”
In the meantime, the Critical Fraud Workplace in the UK is analysing the Garcia report.
The selections to award Russia the 2018 World Cup and Qatar the 2022 version have been dogged by allegations of bribery and corruption since they had been made in December 2010.
An SFO spokesperson mentioned: “The SFO is reviewing the Garcia Report. We are able to make no additional remark at this stage.”
Affirmation of the SFO’s curiosity comes 20 months after its director, David Inexperienced, informed MPs of potential money-laundering offences, together with a fee of 500,000 Australian (£295,000) made by the Australia 2022 bid committee to former CONCACAF president Warner, which can have gone by way of London.
On the time, Inexperienced, who was giving proof to the Tradition, Media and Sport choose committee, mentioned the SFO “can’t contact FIFA with the Bribery Act as issues stand” because it grew to become legislation in July 2011 and a lot of the World Cup allegations befell earlier than then.
In October 2015, the SFO had a group of 5 going by way of greater than 1,600 paperwork offered by the FA regarding England’s failed 2018 bid.
Info from the Press Affiliation was used on this report.
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