Andrew Jennings: Sepp Blatter’s shell games continue

Sepp Blatter is upto his old tricks with his willing accomplice FIFA’s vice president Jack Warner. At stake are 37 precious CONCACAF votes that Warner controls which should ensure Blatter’s re-election this May. But Andrew Jennings discovers that Sepp Blatter needs to sweep a few things under the rug before all of this happens.
London Daily Mail – back page Tuesday 13 March, 2007
FIFA FINE TOP OFFICIAL’S SON $1 MILLION
EXCLUSIVE by Andrew Jennings
FIFA have secretly fined the son of a top official almost $1million for touting World Cup tickets last year.
Daryan Warner, son of vice-president Jack Warner, has also been told their family travel company is banned from dealing in tickets.
The deals, revealed exclusively in SportsMail last September, were set up by Jack Warner. His Trinidad-based company Simpaul Travel acquired more than 5,400 tickets from FIFA
and then sold them at huge mark-ups to package tour operators in England, Japan, and Mexico.
Warner diverted a further 1,700 tickets, allocated to the Trinidad World Cup team, to Simpaul. He was found guilty in early 2006 of breaching FIFA’s ethics code. He hurriedly disposed of his shares in Simpaul but his son Daryan continued as managing director and during the World Cup collected hundreds more tickets from the FIFA office in Berlin and passed them to touts.
A report to FIFA last June from auditors Ernst & Young alleged that the Warners stood to make profits of nearly $1 million. In strict secrecy, the executive committee imposed the massive
fine, equal to the expected profiteering, and ordered the money be donated to the charity SOS Children’s Villages.
The confidential minutes of last December’s executive committee meeting, obtained by SportsMail, reveals that by last Christmas, ‘despite numerous reminders from FIFA,’ only
$250,000 had been paid.
The extraordinary decision to impose the fine was suppressed. At a press conference on December 6 FIFA President Sepp Blatter would only say they ‘disapproved’ of Jack Warner’s
conduct and he should not let Daryan ‘abuse the position held by his father’ – and that the case was closed.
But it wasn’t. The secret deadline for the full payment of $992,652 is March 22, the next meeting of FIFA’s executive, but FIFA insiders believe that if no more money is handed over
there will be no further action. After all, Jack Warner controls 35, of the 207 votes available, that President Blatter needs for re-election at the end of May.
A FIFA source said: ‘If there is no more money paid over I can’t see that Blatter is going to take action. After all Jack Warner controls 35 crucial votes that will ensure Sepp Blatter gets a
third term.’
In theory the Warners could be reported to Lord Coe, new head of FIFA’s Ethics committee, for the ticket rackets and the failure to pay the fine. But it’s unlikely that the 24-man executive committee will publicly humiliate Warner and authorise an investigation. Coe’s hands are tied; he can’t make an ethical judgement on the Warners unless there is a complaint.
Read the secret FIFA report on the Warner ticket rackets and the Million Dollar Fine at www.transparencyinsport.org

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