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May 30, 2011

Valcke confirms Warner email

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has confirmed he sent suspended vice-president Jack Warner an email stating the 2022 World Cup in Qatar had been "bought".

'Bribe money' image emerges
Bin Hammam to appeal
Banned duo attack FIFA
Blatter escapes as duo suspended
Bin Hammam withdraws from election
Senator urges red card for FIFA

Warner made public an email from Valcke that claimed Mohamed Bin Hammam - who has also been suspended on bribery charges - had bought the World Cup and stated that he could not understand his motivation for challenging Sepp Blatter in the FIFA presidential elections. He has since withdrawn from the race.

The email read: "For MBH [Bin Hammam], I never understood why he was running. If really he thought he had a chance or just being an extreme way to express how much he does not like anymore JSB [Blatter]. Or he thought you can buy FIFA as they bought the WC."

Valcke, speaking from Zurich, has now confirmed that the email was genuine but said that its contents were private.

"It was a private email and we will discuss it," he said. "He sent me an email asking if I want that [Bin Hammam to run], he said that I should ask Bin Hammam to pull out."

Valcke also said that Warner had not published the email in its entirety and dismissed the suggestions that he had influenced the ethics committee's decision to ban Warner and Bin Hammam.

Valcke said: "The first time I met the chairman of the ethics committee was yesterday at 5'o'clock before we went to the press conference. I had no contact at all with anyone."

In light of Valcke's claim, Bin Hammam has now spoken to the press to deny Qatar bought the World Cup.

"You would have to ask Jerome Valcke what he was thinking," he told BBC Sport. "I don't know why he has said that. If I was paying money for Qatar, you also have to ask the 13 people who voted for Qatar."

Asked if the claim was true, he denied it, saying: "What do you think?"

Qatar's World Cup organisers have since released a statement denying any wrongdoing over the 2022 bid.

It read: "Qatar 2022 categorically deny any wrong doing in connection with their winning bid. We are urgently seeking clarification from FIFA about the statement from their General Secretary.

"In the meantime we are taking legal advice to consider our options."

Warner had also claimed that Blatter had made a $1 million payment to the CONCACAF federation without the finance committee's authorisation and that UEFA president Michel Platini was "annoyed".

However, asked about the situation, Platini said: "It's not like that. It was a joke with me and Mr Blatter.

"He can give the projects that he wants to give. I joke - I said: 'But, Sepp, this was not accepted by the committee' - but he can give many projects to many national associations and we will confirm in the GOAL project after.

"In many Congresses for many, many years the president can give one or two projects to national associations - he has his own budget and he can give to one confederation and then it has to be approved of course by the executive committee next time."

Platini said he could not rule out the possibility that there would be a repeat of the 1999 FIFA Congress, when the Asian members walked out in a protest over the number of World Cup places.

He added: "I don't know what will happen - there are some meetings of the confederations in the next few days, I don't know what will happen. In '99 Asia left, I don't know if they will do that again. I think the election will go ahead but I don't know."

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