LONDON: Damian Collins, a Conservative MP on the UK Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee, has returned to the attack on FIFA and its president Sepp Blatter in the wake of Jack Warner’s latest salvo [article here] writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Warner, who quit all football included a string of senior positions in the world and regional administration, has claimed that he was awarded World Cup TV rights in his territories in return for supporting Blatter in the 1998 and 2002 FIFA presidential elections.
Collins said: “These are serious allegations that must surely go to the very top of FIFA and need to be fully and independently investigated.
“If true, how could deals like this be done without the knowledge of the most senior people in the organisation? This is a question that has to be answered by Sepp Blatter and it also demonstrates why there has to be a committee of investigation and inquiry which can act independently of the president and FIFA’s executive committee.”
The difficulty in assessing the veracity of any outburst from Warner was illustrated by Collins in recounting an appearance before the CMS committee by Lord David Triesman, former chairman of both the Football Association and the ultimately humiliated bid to win host rights to the 2018 World Cup.
Collins said: “Lord Triesman alleged that Jack Warner had asked England to pay for the broadcast rights for the World Cup 2010 to be shown ‘on large screens throughout Haiti.’
“It turned out, according to the Dingemans report presented to FIFA by the FA, that the pay TV World Cup rights in the Caribbean at that time were owned by a company, SportsMax, whose holding company JD International ‘acts on behalf of the Caribbean Football Union [then president, one Jack Warner] in selling TV rights for the region.’
“This means, as the FA stated in an email to FIFA on 11 May 2011, that Lord Triesman was alleging that Jack Warner was asking for payment for TV rights that he ‘in fact owned.'”