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Apr 23, 2013

Warner accused of taking FFA's money

Football Federation Australia must wait to find out the fate of a six-figure donation it made which was allegedly pocketed by former FIFA heavyweight Jack Warner.

But the FFA says none of the $462,000 - given during Australia's failed World Cup bid as a development grant to Trinidad-based Warner's CONCACAF region - was Australian taxpayers' money.

Instead the FFA says it came from a separate football development fund established from its own finances.

"The funding of preliminary design and feasibility works for a CONCACAF Centre of Excellence in Trinidad was one of a range of international development projects FFA undertook," a spokesman said. "All were reported to the Australian government."

Warner resigned as Trinidad and Tobago's minister of security on Sunday, denying any wrongdoing after a CONCACAF integrity report made the case of the vanishing funds public.

He is a former CONCACAF president and FIFA executive committee member, and at the time of the FFA donation had voting rights on the 2022 World Cup bid.

Warner and former CONCACAF secretary general Chuck Blazer were accused of fraud in the report.

The report said the Australian funds "were not accounted for in the CONCACAF general ledger or reported as income in its financial statements for 2010", when the grant was made.

Instead, it is alleged the money was deposited into an account controlled by Warner which also included his personal funds.

Warner resigned from FIFA in 2011 after an ethics committee investigation was launched against him over bribery allegations.

The FFA says it assisted CONCACAF in its investigation and has written to the Caribbean football body regarding next steps.

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