FIFA report slams England’s 2018 bid

Report mentions ‘inappropriate requests’ by former CONCACAF chief Jack Warner and $55,000 spent on a gala dinner.

England's 2018 World Cup bid got just two votes [Getty Images]

England was slammed by a FIFA ethics report for over-indulging former powerbroker Jack Warner in its attempt to win the right to host the 2018 World Cup.

England’s bid team helped an acquaintance of Warner find part-time employment in the United Kingdom and spent $55,000 to sponsor a gala event in his native Trinidad and Tobago in its attempts to win Warner’s favour, the report said.

Warner was president of the CONCACAF federation at the time and also sat on the FIFA executive committee which awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia and 2022 tournament to Qatar in a controversial vote in December 2010.

He withdrew from football in 2011 after he was suspended by FIFA following allegations in a cash-for-votes scandal in the run-up to that year’s presidential election.

The report, which followed a year-long investigation into the bidding process for the tournaments, said that Warner made “inappropriate requests” and described the English bid team’s willingness to accommodate as “an apparent violation of bidding rules and the FIFA Code of Ethics.

“The England 2018 bid team placed particular emphasis on winning former FIFA executive committee member (in the position of a FIFA Vice President) and then CONCACAF President Jack Warner,” said the report.

“Mr. Warner sought to exploit the perception of his power to control “blocks of votes” within the FIFA Executive Committee, showering the England 2018 bid team with inappropriate requests.

According to the findings of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee, the bid team often accommodated Mr. Warner’s wishes, in apparent violation of bidding rules and the FIFA Code of Ethics.”

The report said that Warner pressed England’s bid team to help “a person of interest to him” find a part-time job in Britain.

Source: Reuters