So shocked, I almost fell out of my chair.
Fifa are to investigate claims that Australia’s team bidding to host the 2022 World Cup gave gifts to try and influence votes.
It is alleged that the Football Federation of Australia (FFA) gave jewellery to the wives of Fifa executive committee members.
Further claims allege that Australia paid for the Trinidad and Tobago Under-20 team to fly to Cyprus.
“Fifa can confirm that it is looking into this matter,” a statement said.
“For the time being, Fifa cannot disclose any other details or make any further comment,” the statement concluded.
Trinidad and Tobago is the home association of influential Fifa vice-president Jack Warner.
As head of Concacaf, the North American and Caribbean football association, he controls three of the 24 votes which decide who hosts a World Cup.
It is claimed the FFA gave pearl necklaces to the wives of Fifa executive committee members. The executive committee is the body which votes on which country should host a World Cup.
Associations hoping to host major tournaments are forbidden from giving valuable gifts to people who are connected with the voting process to ensure impartiality.
They are, however, allowed to give gifts which have “symbolic or incidental value.” (BBC Sport)
When news of this corruption scandal first hit I was sure that a certain Mr Jack Warner would be in some way involved and to my ,feigned, shock and horror the FIFA Vice-President is of course well and truly in the mire on this one.
This is a man who has continually been linked with one scandal or another since he first joined FIFA in 1983. Whether it’s the scandal related to the illegal selling of World Cup tickets, for which Warner was fined $1m by the sport’s governing body (a sum he is still complete payment of) or the fact that he, and others, still owe the Trinidad and Tobago 2006 World Cup team, large sums of money, or to the fact that he made the following ‘biased’ statement with regards to England’s potential hosting of the 2018 World Cup “For Europe, England is an irritant”, and that “Nobody in Europe likes England”.
I would reassert Roy Keane’s description of the 67 year old ‘businessman’ that Jack Warner is indeed a ‘clown’ who thankfully will not damage the sport for much longer as he is surely not likely to gain re-election as CONCACAF president in 2011.