FRANKFURT: German investigators have succeeding in opening a file entitled ‘Earthquake’ which may throw new light on the role played by Jack Warner in the awarding of the 2006 World Cup writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Warner is the Trinidadian former FIFA vice-president and CONCACAF president who is contesting an extradition application from the United States Justice Department which has placed him under indictment in the FIFAGate corruption scandal.
Between 2000 and 2011 Warner was one of the most powerful personalities inside the leadership of the world football federation.
In 2011 he was suspended from football over bribery allegations connected with the FIFA presidential election. He was later banned for life, all the while threatening to unleash a ‘tsunami’ with revelations abojt the inner workings of the governing body.
German prosecutors have confirmed having opened a German federation file which had escaped attention during the DFB’s own inquiry into events surrounding a mysterious loan to the 2006 bid committee from the late Robert Louis-Dreyfus, former owner of sportswear giant Adidas.
Prosecutors are investigating several members of the 2006 World Cup organising committee – including its president Franz Beckenbauer – on suspicion of tax evasion in connection with a payment of €6.7m for a World Cup gala event which never took place.
Documents and electronic records from the DFB are under scrutiny by prosecutors but, until now, the Warner file had remained untouched because of concerns over the high cost of breaking the encryption. This has now been resolved and the file passed to investigators.
Warner’s role became a subject for speculation after the emergence of a draft contract between him and the World Cup bid committee a matter of days before the crucial vote in the FIFA executive committee. Germany beat South Africa by one vote in controversial circumstances.