FIFA have admitted a 10million dollars payment from South Africa to Jack Warner and Chuck Blazer was a bribe for World Cup votes in 2010.
FIFA submitted documents on Wednesday to the US authorities in an effort to reclaim tens of millions of dollars taken illegally by corrupt FIFA members and other football officials.
The documents also see FIFA admit for the first time that former CONCACAF president Warner and Blazer accepted money in return for hosting votes.
“It is now apparent that multiple members of FIFA’s executive committee abused their positions and sold their votes on multiple occasions,” the papers state.
“Defendant Jack Warner, together with his co-conspirators Charles (Chuck) Blazer (who has admitted his crimes and pleaded guilty), defendant Warner’s son Daryan Warner, and other co-conspirators not named in the Superseding Indictment, engineered a 10million dollar pay-off in exchange for executive committee votes regarding where the 2010 FIFA World Cup would be hosted.”
FIFA said the scheme “built off Warner’s corrupt vote in 1992 for Morocco to host the 1998 FIFA World Cup”. That tournament was eventually staged in France.
Twelve years later Warner and Blazer, who by 2004 also had a vote as an executive committee member, were alleged in FIFA’s restitution request to be offered a one million dollar bribe by the Morocco bid committee to host the 2010 World Cup.
But FIFA said Warner and his family had already established close ties to South Africa during their failed bid to host the 2006 tournament.
Warner’s son, the documents state, had organised a series of friendly matches among CONCACAF teams to be played in South Africa and had received a briefcase with 10,000 dollars in cash from a high-ranking South African official in Paris.
It is said that he immediately return to Trinidad and Tobago to give the money to his father.
“Ultimately, given defendant Warner’s strong illicit ties to the South African bid committee, the South Africans offered a more attractive bribe of 10million dollars in exchange for Warner’s, Blazer’s, and a third executive committee member’s votes,” says the document.
“Warner and his co-conspirators lied to FIFA about the nature of the payment, disguising it as support for the benefit of the ‘African Diaspora’ in the Caribbean region, when in reality it was a bribe.
“They disguised and funnelled the bribe money through the financial accounts of FIFA, member associations, and the 2010 FIFA World Cup local organising committee.
“At the time of the scheme, Warner was a member of the FIFA executive committee, a FIFA vice president, and the president of both CONCACAF and the Caribbean Football Union, which had 31 member associations in its ranks.
“Blazer was also a member of FIFA’s executive committee, at times a member of FIFA’s marketing and television committees, and the general secretary of CONCACAF.
“They breached the fundamental duties they owed to FIFA, CFU, and CONCACAF and stole 10million dollars.”