WHEN corrupt Fifa vice-president Jack Warner sent the English Football Association a £35,608 bill for a banquet it sponsored in Trinidad in 2010, it paid it immediately. Now an FA spokesman admits to the Eye that the FA has “no idea” what the largest single item – £13,636 – was for.
The cost of the nosh was only £6,827, despite Warner cramming in 160 members of his Caribbean Football Union. Then the veteran bill-padder got to work, confident that the English, who wanted his vote for their 2018 World Cup bid, would not dare complain.
He added £4,645 for “decorations”, thousands more for lighting, programmes, invitations, a plaque, a video crew, one of the most expensive photographers in the Caribbean and, of course, ushers.
Warner’s masterstroke was the £13,636 listed merely as “Tokens”. The Eye asked the FA what these were. “I have no idea,” said its spokesman. He warned, however, that we shouldn’t describe it as a scandal, since it was “a legitimate sponsorship to an event on agreed commercial terms. Payment was made against a legitimate invoice.” Even if the FA didn’t understand the invoice.
The 2010 bunfight was held at the Port of Spain Hyatt hotel – fittingly the venue where Warner was caught 15 months later laundering $1m in bribes from Qatar’s Mohammed bin Hammam to the same dinner guests to buy their votes in the Fifa presidential election.