MP says Fifa have World Cup questions to answer

FIFA have failed to provide adequate answers to former vice-president Jack Warner’s claims that he was provided with World Cup television rights for as a little as a dollar as a reward for supporting Sepp Blatter, according to a leading reformer.

Fifa yesterday insisted that the awarding of the rights to Warner were nothing to do with his support for Blatter in the 1998 and 2002 presidential elections.

But Conservative MP Damian Collins, who is campaigning for Fifa reform, said the world governing body had failed to address key issues. Collins said: “They have not provided satisfactory answers to these questions at all, especially as to why TV rights to World Cup finals have been handed out to senior members of Fifa’s executive committee. There is also no answer as to whether there was any auditing of the income from these rights to ensure they were being used for developing football rather than personal profit.

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“This all highlights the need for a clear register of Fifa members’ financial interests and that is one area of reform they have not even considered.” Warner issued a statement last month saying he was a given the rights for seven World Cups for a minimum fee, and that “President Blatter sold me the World Cup TV rights for 2002 and 2006, no doubt in appreciation of the work I did [with Bin Hammam] for his re-election”.

Fifa have insisted this is not the case, saying: “Such rights were ceded in order to provide an additional source of revenue for football development in the Caribbean Football Union.

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“This had nothing to do with the 1998 or 2002 election campaigns, or with any other election campaign. To imply the contrary is completely false.”

The world governing body said the “statement made by Jack A Warner includes several inaccuracies and falsehoods” and that “until 1998 TV rights were provided by the rights-holders for symbolic sums in many territories [for example in Africa], in order to maximise the worldwide television coverage”.