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Apr 26, 2013

Warner: FIFA 'gave me £4m in deal'

Former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner has claimed world football's governing body gave him £4 million towards building a training centre in return for supporting Sepp Blatter's election as president in 1998.

Warner alleged that a deal struck that May with Joao Havelange, then the FIFA president, meant Blatter had the full backing of the CONCACAF region in his election battle against Lennart Johansson.

He said Blatter "would never have seen the light of day as president of FIFA" without 30 CONCACAF votes in an election he won by 111 votes to 80.

Warner, who resigned from football after being implicated in a bribery scandal two years ago, has promised a "tsunami'' of revelations.

He owns the land on which the centre of excellence, thought to be worth around £20 million, has been built.

Last week, ex-CONCACAF chairman Warner was the subject of an investigation launched by that body. An ethics panel accused him of enriching himself through fraud during his time as president and failing to delcare himself as the owner of the land.

But a day after resigning as the Trinidadian government's minister of security as a result of the accusation, Warner hit back.

He published letters which appeared to show that Havelange had agreed to convert a £4 million FIFA loan into a donation to him and the Caribbean Football Union.

"I told Havelange that, through him, Blatter will get CONCACAF's total support,'' Warner said. "Blatter had been, at this time, the most hated FIFA official by both the European and African confederations.''

FIFA has not responded to requests for a comment.

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