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Concacaf general secretary Chuck Blazer warns Caribbean football officials as corruption investigation continues

Warning: Chuck Blazer has told associations to pay back money

Concacaf general secretary Chuck Blazer warns Caribbean football officials as corruption investigation continues

Caribbean football officials have been warned to pay back any cash that they may have been given during a controversial meeting in Trinidad or face investigation as part of the corruption investigation rocking Fifa.


Fifa executive committee members Mohamed Bin Hammam and Jack Warner have been suspended pending a full investigation into allegations that they arranged for $1 million in bribes to be offered to 25 Caribbean associations at a special meeting in Trinidad earlier this month.

Five associations have told investigators that they rejected the offers of individual payments of $40,000 in $100 bills, details of which were revealed at the weekend by Telegraph Sport.

A further 13 of the associations have written statements supporting Warner’s denial that any such offers were made, and at a meeting of the Concacaf confederation, which includes Caribbean associations, on Monday they were all warned to hand back any money.

The warning came from Chuck Blazer, the general secretary of Concacaf and the man who first revealed the bribery allegations. According to Canadian FA president Dominique Maestracci, Blazer encouraged the associations to hand back the money or face action.

Pictures of some of the cash offered emerged on Monday, confirming that the money was arranged in four $10,000 stacks contained in brown envelopes.


In his witness statement, which forms part of the evidence filed to Fifa, Lunn was one of the first to go up to the room where he was handed a large brown envelope. When he opened it “stacks of US $100 fell out and on to the table. I was stunned to see this cash”, he said in an affidavit.

He texted Sealey saying “a lot of the boys taking the cash, this is sad given the breaking news on the TV CNN ... I’m truly surprise its happening at this conference” [sic].

In London that day, allegations that Qatar’s bid team for the 2022 World Cup had paid bribes for votes had been made in Parliament.

Telegraph Sport can also disclose that a travel company linked to Jack Warner arranged travel for 50 delegates to the Trinidad meeting, receiving up to $360,000 from Bin Hammam.

The company, Simpaul Travel, based in Trinidad, was previously at the centre of a notorious World Cup ticket-touting scandal that saw Warner reprimanded by Fifa.

Witness statements and documents that form the basis of the investigation make it clear Simpaul was involved in arranging flights and hotel rooms for delegates.

Delegates were told that they had to arrange their travel through the CFU, of which Warner is president, using a form provided with the formal invitation to the meeting. The invitation states that if delegates did not book travel through the CFU they could not guarantee to be reimbursed.

There was disagreement between Bin Hammam and Warner over the sums involved on Monday, with Warner claiming the Qatari had wired the CFU $250,000 for travel, while Bin Hammam said in a witness statement that he had paid $360,000.

Simpaul’s involvement is endorsed by testimony from Sonia Bien-Aime, the secretary general of the Turks and Caicos Islands Football Association, who is a key witness to the inquiry. “Ms Bien-Aime stated that the airline ticket she received to attend the meeting had been sent by Simpaul Travel in Trinidad,” the report says.

Although they are not accused of any wrong doing in this instance, they were previously investigated by Fifa after it was revealed that tickets for the 2006 World Cup intended for Trinidad fans were channelled through the company and sold on at a profit of around $1 million. Warner owned shares in the company and his son Daryan was a director.

Warner received only a reprimand for his involvement in the scandal, which exposed Fifa’s oft-repeated commitment to supporters to ridicule. Warner was required to end family involvement in the company.

Read what Jack warner said to Fifa / TnT's Prime Minister stands by...

 

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