Former English Football Association chairman David Triesman has accused FIFA executive committee members Jack Warner, Ricardo Teixeira, Nicolas Leoz and Worawi Makudi of asking for favours in return for their votes for England's 2018 World Cup bid.
Triesman was giving evidence yesterday to a parliamentary enquiry into the reasons why England failed in its bid to secure the finals which were awarded to Russia last December.
MPs involved in the inquiry also revealed the names of two other FIFA Executive Committee members who, it is alleged, were paid US$1.5 million (916,636 pounds) to vote for Qatar's successful 2022 World Cup bid.
Conservative MP Damian Collins said the committee had evidence from the Sunday Times which it would publish that FIFA vice-president Issa Hayatou of Cameroon and Jacques Anouma of the Ivory Coast were paid by Qatar.
Two other executive committee members were banned by FIFA's Ethics Committee last year after a previous Sunday Times investigation into the World Cup bidding process.
The claims are an embarrassment for the game's governing body with a total eight of its 24-strong key decision-making executive committee having now been accused by the British media or its parliamentary representatives of corruption.
Its 75-year-old president Sepp Blatter will stand for a further four-year term at its helm on June 1 in Zurich. He was first elected in 1998. Asian Football Confederation chief Mohamed Bin Hammam is opposing him.
Triesman spoke at the parliamentary enquiry of the "improper and unethical behaviour" by the four men he named.
Giving exact details about the conversations, he said Warner asked for 2.5 million pounds to be "channelled through me" for an education centre in his home country Trinidad and Tobago.
After the Haiti earthquake struck leaving that country devastated, Warner then asked Triesman for 500,000 pounds to buy Haiti World Cup TV rights.
Triesman said Paraguayan Leoz had requested a knighthood in return for his vote, while Teixeira told him "Come and tell me what you have for me."
Thai Makudi wanted control of the television rights for a proposed Thailand vs England friendly.
"We had a number of conversations with Mr Makudi, telephone conversations," Triesman said.
"These were some of the things that were put to me personally, sometimes in the presence of others, which in my view did not represent proper and ethical behaviour on the part of members of the executive committee," he added.
FIFA president Blatter responded to Triesman's comment at a news conference in Zurich.
"I was shocked...but one has to see the evidence," Blatter said.
"There is a new round of information, give us time to digest that and start the investigation by asking for evidence on what has been said.
"I repeat, we must have the evidence and we will react immediately against all those in breach of the ethics code rules."
Collins clarified the allegations against Hayatou and Anouma.
"The Sunday Times submission, and this is to be published by us later, claims that 1.5 million dollars was paid to FIFA executive committee members Issa Hayatou and Jacques Anouma who went on to vote for Qatar 2022," he said, adding that the submission also said that Qatar employed a fixer to arrange deals with African members for their votes."
Mike Lee, who worked as a consultant on Qatar's bid, gave evidence.
"I personally have never witnessed any improper behaviour and have no evidence that the allegations are correct," he said.
The vote to stage the 2018 and 2022 World Cups was mired in controversy, with England at the heart of it.
Triesman was forced to resign from the FA last year after a newspaper sting in which he was taped during a private conversation claiming 2018 rivals Spain and Russia were conspiring to bribe referees at last year's World Cup in South Africa.
A FIFA investigation found no substance to those allegations by Triesman.
FIFA banned Nigerian Amos Adamu and Reynauld Temarii of Tahiti, president of the Oceania Football Confederation, from its executive committee in November over a report in the Sunday Times that they had offered to sell their votes.
When England's bid failed last December, receiving just two out of 22 votes, it sparked bitter recriminations and Roger Burden, the acting FA chairman, stated that he could no longer trust FIFA members and withdrew his candidacy for the job.
I never asked for anything—Warner.
By: Asha Javeed (Guardian).
“First of all, I laughed. I laughed like hell,” Warner told reporters yesterday. He took a break from a meeting with Mohammed Bin Hamman, president of the Asian Football Confederation, who will rival Fifa president Joseph Sepp Blatter in the presidency election later this year.
Bin Hamman was in Trinidad to share his vision for the game with Concacaf leaders. Lord Triesman told the select committee, looking into England’s failed 2018 football bid, that Warner asked for money—suggested to be £2.5m—to build an education centre in Trinidad with the cash to be channelled through him, and later £500,000 to buy Haiti’s World Cup TV rights for the earthquake-hit nation, also to go through Warner. Triesman identified Warner and three other Fifa executives—Nicolas Leoz, Ricardo Teixeira and Worawi Makudi for their “improper and unethical” behaviour.
Warner, who’s already denied the bribery allegations, was openly dismissive. “I never asked anybody for anything. When these guys came here, they offered to help.
I took them to Longdenville to show them a place in Longdenville where they could put playground for the people of Longdenville. I had a function for them at a Government school.
They promised to come back but they never did. That’s all,” he said. Warner said the timing of the allegations is curious and he expects that there’ll be more to come.
He observed that Andrew Jennings, an English journalist who’s made Fifa his beat, was expected to appear before the committee in two weeks time and “he’ll come with his bit of garbage to talk about Jack Warner, Fifa and Blatter.”
“I think that nobody, honestly, of substance could take those guys seriously. At the end of the day, I can hold my head tall, I could stand up and say to the world I never asked for this,” he said. He advised committee members that rather than find scapegoats, England should instead look dispassionately why its bid failed.
Bin Hamman, who’s vying to be Fifa president, defended the organisation. “With allegations, evidence is needed. The evidence is very important.
When you come with allegations, bring the evidence and I think you’ll be more credible,” he said “What I think is that Fifa is not corrupted. We are all working within the football arena. We are victims of the prosperity of the game,” Hamman told reporters.
Warner found himself at the centre of British rage last year after Fifa awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia. The Concacaf president had been courted by England Prime Minister David Cameron; Prince William, the second in line to the British throne and football superstar David Beckham.
Warner, one of 22 Fifa executive committee members holding crucial World Cup votes, was accused by sections of the media of promising England the important Concacaf votes but failing to deliver.
Bin Hammam: Bring the evidence.
By Ian Prescott (Express).
Bin Hammam is challenging incumbent Sepp Blatter for the top FIFA post, and is courting the 35 votes available to the Caribbean, North and Central America (CONCACAF) region, of which Warner is president.
"What I think, seriously, is FIFA is not corrupt," Bin Hammam told local media yesterday, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port of Spain." We are victims of the popularity of the game."
Yesterday, 63-year-old Bin Hammam addressed 30 Caribbean Football Union (CFU) delegates at the Hyatt , hoping to sway their votes ahead of the FIFA Congress on June 1. Bin Hammam, considered a long outsider, believes he has a chance to become FIFA president. He said if he did not run for president now, he may never do it because of his age.
His opponent, Blatter already has the support of Europe, while CONCACAF will likely reveal their choice a day before the congress. It is widely expected that CONCACAF will support Blatter. However, Warner, the CONCACAF president, said that while there were no complaints about Blatter, they wanted to give Bin Hammam the opportunity to be heard since the Qatar native could not get a U.S. visa in time for the recent CONCACAF congress.
In England's Daily Mail newspaper, yesterday, Warner, Paraguay's FIFA official Nicholas Leoz and Brazil's Ricardo Teixeira were accused of seeking gifts in exchange for their votes, ahead of England's failed 2018 World Cup bid.
Former England bid chairman, Lord Triesman accused Warner of requesting £2.5 million to build an education centre in Trinidad, and £500,000 to buy Haiti's World Cup rights. It was also reported that Leoz sought a knighthood and Teixeira asked the Englishman to "come and tell me what you have got for me". When quizzed about his thoughts on the matter, Bin Hammam said such accusations must be backed by evidence.
"You need, and I need, and the court needs the evidence," Bin Hammam said. "The evidence is very important. When you come with accusations bring the evidence."
Previously, Warner was reprimanded by FIFA over a 2006 World Cup ticket scandal involving his family. Yesterday, he denied seeking gifts from England. Warner said when the English delegation came to Trinidad, he took them to Longdenville, Chaguanas, where they offered to help by building a playground for the people of that community.
"I never asked anybody for anything," Warner declared. "At the end of the day, I hold my head high. At the end of the day I could stand up and say to the world I never asked for this."
Warner said it is no coincidence that fresh corruption allegations have been made against him on the eve of the FIFA Congress.
"We have a FIFA Congress in three weeks...this comes before Jennings," Warner said, in reference to English journalist Andrew Jennings, who has accused him of corruption several times.
"Next week we will have Jennings, who will come with another bit of garbage about Jack Warner, FIFA and Blatter, because of the timing. Jennings will come in the next two weeks. The important thing is that nobody really take these guys seriously."
Warner also tore into Lord Triesman, saying the Englishman had already been discredited and fired by the English FA. He said too that what England should consider is that except for their own representative, not one FIFA member from Europe voted for England to host the 2018 World Cup.