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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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By ESPN Staff

FIFA VP facing expulsion over World Cup scandal

FIFA's controversial vice-president Jack Warner faces a fight to avoid expulsion from the organisation after being engulfed by another World Cup ticket scandal.

Warner, from Trinidad and Tobago, has been identified in a report by auditors Ernst & Young as having sold World Cup tickets at up to three times their face value.

In their confidential report to FIFA, the accountants say: 'We can confirm that tickets included in orders under customer reference 201498572 (Mr Jack Warner) were transferred or resold into the secondary market in breach of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany ticketing general terms and conditions.'

The issue will now be dealt with at FIFA's executive committee meeting in Zurich on Friday. FIFA took tough action against another senior executive, Ismail Bhamjee, during the World Cup when he was discovered to have sold tickets to fans for profit and was sent home to Botswana in disgrace.

FIFA spokesman Andreas Herren said: 'These auditors' reports do indeed exist and the matter will be discussed in the executive committee this Friday at the request of Jack Warner.'

According to the Ernst & Young report, which has been published on www.transparencyinsport.org, the auditors were called in on June 20 when the boss of a Swiss travel firm named Antonio Gallicchio complained to FIFA that he had not received a number of World Cup tickets, with a cover price of 100 euros, that he was paying 400 euros each for.

He had bought the tickets from a Florida-based agency called Kick Sports but Ernst & Young traced the source of the tickets to Warner.

They were able to establish that the FIFA vice-president had bought 180 tickets on his credit card at face value of 100 euros each, they were picked up from FIFA's ticket office by his son Daryan, and were then bought from Kick Sports by Gallicchio for 400 euros apiece - 54,000 euros (£37,000) more than face value.

It is not the first time Warner has been involved in World Cup ticket controversy.

In March, Warner's fellow executive committee members allowed him a reprieve despite ruling he was guilty of a clear conflict of interest.

Warner, a special adviser to the Trinidad and Tobago FA, was accused last month by FIFA's ethics committee of violating their code of conduct after his family's travel company, Simpaul, secured exclusive rights to sell his country's entire World Cup ticket allocation.

Warner told FIFA that he and his wife had sold their shares in Simpaul and had no idea he had violated any rules.

In the 1980s and 90s Warner obtained FIFA's TV rights for the Caribbean for a pittance and then sold them on to broadcasters.