FIFA Members Accused of Seeking Bribes: One Wanted Knighthood

Written by:
Alistair Prescott
Published on:
May/10/2011
FIFA Members Bribes Knighthood

FIFA, the world body for soccer, announced a €20 million initiative to crack down on match fixing on Monday.  Less than 24 hours later, four of its own members have been accused of seeking out "bribes" in return for backing England's failed 2018 World Cup bid.  One of those alleged even sought knighthood in exchange for his backing the England team. 

Former Football Association chairman Lord Triesman made the allegations against about Jack Warner, Nicolas Leoz, Ricardo Teixeira and Worawi Makudi. 

He said their behaviour was "below what would be ethically acceptable".

Warner is FIFA’s current Vice President and calls the allegations against him “complete nonsense”.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, he added: "I've never asked Triesman nor any other person, Englishman or otherwise, for any money for my vote at any time.

"In the English campaign, before Triesman was unceremoniously kicked out, I've spoken to him on his initiative on only three occasions, while I've spoken to his other colleagues on other occasions and not one of them will ever corroborate his bit of trivia.

"I have been in Fifa for 29 years and this will astound many, I'm sure - including people like David Dein [international president of England 2018 bid] and Geoff Thompson [head of England's 2018 bid]."

In another development, a London paper claims that Fifa vice-president Issa Hayatou, from Cameroon, and Jacques Anouma, from the Ivory Coast, were involved in alleged £1m bribery to vote for Qatar's hosting of the World Cup.  The Sunday Times says it will produce evidence for an upcoming report in its paper. 

Triesman’s specific allegations against the four men included: 

Fifa vice-president Warner asked for around £2.5m to build an education centre in Trinidad, with the cash to be channelled through him, and later wanted £500,000 to buy Haiti's World Cup TV rights for the earthquake-hit nation, again to be channelled through him;

- Paraguay's Fifa member Leoz asked for a knighthood;

- Brazil's Fifa member Teixeira asked him [Triesman] to "come and tell me what you have got for me", with the implication being that he wanted something in return for his vote;

- Thailand's Fifa member Makudi wanted to be given the TV rights to a friendly between England and the Thai national team.

 

- Alistair Prescott, Gambling911.com

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