in the spotlight: A picture taken on April 27, 2011 shows then FIFA vice-president Jack Warner speaking in Cartagena. Warner and his family were paid almost US$2 million (£1.2m) from a Qatari firm liked to the Gulf state’s successful bid for the 2022 World Cup finals, according to a report yesterday in Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper.  —Photo: AFP

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Jack: A Qatar witch-hunt

By Anna Ramdass anna.ramdass@trinidadexpress.com

Former FIFA vice- president Jack Warner has said a “witch- hunt” was being waged against Qatar.

“I have no interest in joining in the foolishness that is now passing as news on Qatar and Jack Warner,” he said in a statement to Britain’s Press Association.

The quote was contained in an Associated Press story yesterday.

Meanwhile, Warner’s son, Daryan, has said he never accepted any bribe in relation to the Qatar bid for the 2022 World Cup.

Speaking to the Express last night via telephone, Daryan, who lives in Miami, said he did not want to comment on the UK Telegraph’s report that his father and family were paid almost US$2 million from a Qatari firm linked to the country’s successful bid for the 2022 World Cup.

According to The Telegraph, Warner appears to have been personally paid US$1.2  million from a company controlled by a former Qatari football official shortly after FIFA’s decision to award the country the tournament.

It stated payments totalling almost US$750,000 were made to Warner’s sons, according to documents, and a further US$400,000 was paid to one of his employees.

The report stated it was understood the FBI is now investigating Warner and his alleged links to the Qatari bid, and that the former FIFA official’s eldest son, who lives in Miami, has been helping the enquiry as a co-operating witness.

Daryan said he has never been involved in football business.

“On what grounds has somebody who has not been involved in football have any influence on the decision of a World Cup?” he asked.

He also questioned why would anyone accept a bribe though a wire transfer.

Contacted by the Express yesterday, Warner said he had no comment to make on The Telegraph report.

Warner served as the former minister of national security and minister of works and infrastructure under the People’s Partnership Government before his resignation from all posts in April last year following a report from Concacaf’s integrity committee chaired by Sir David Simmons which accused him of financial impropriety.

After resigning all posts amidst the damning report, Warner went on to form the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) which he leads and was victorious in independently retaining the Chaguanas West constituency seat in a by-election.

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