Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mr. 300%

If agents are known as 'Mr. 10%'s for what they take out of soccer, then Jack Warner is Mr. 300%.

For the CONCACAF boss and FIFA Vice-President sold World Cup tickets at a 295% profit, according to a former customer who spoke to the BBC on last night's 'Panorama' special.

Norwegian ticket broker Atle Barlaup told Jack's hunter-in-chief Andrew Jennings how he bought 820 of Trinidad & Tobago's 2006 World Cup ticket allocation secretly from Warner, in terms reminiscent of a drug deal:

"The tickets were delivered in Germany," said Barlaup. "My associate, my trusted associate, he met with Jack Warner and his secretary. We delivered the cash; they delivered the tickets."

Jack should beware dealing with Norway; Dagbladet newspaper has proof in the form of receipts that Warner was at it again in 2010, scalping World Cup tickets for South Africa at a more modest 60% mark-up, but again in clear breach of his own organization's rules.

Warner was also named by Lord Triesman in a UK parliamentary hearing last week as having requested money for a school in Trinidad, approximately $4milllion, to be paid directly to him in exchange for a World Cup vote.

Earlier this month, CONCACAF delegates, including the USA's Chuck Blazer and Sunil Gulati, unanimously re-elected Warner as their leader, despite a list of corruption allegations the length of the Mississippi.

Yet Jack and friends continue to hold court in Zurich, seemingly untouchably...or do they? If there was a glimmer of hope in last night's latest saga of FIFA corruption, it came from Swiss Member of Parliament Roland Büchel, who is leading a parliamentary investigation into the body's dealings:

"Either they conform to the law," Büchel said of FIFA, "or I must say, they are free to leave the country and I would like to see if there is a country who gives them asylum to carry on the same way they have been working until now."

Switzerland might be a famous tax haven, but FIFA could get a nasty shock if they assume it will always be a safe haven for them too.

- Sean O'Conor

1 comment:

Ryan said...

And what do you know, Warner finally gets formally accused today.