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By ESPN Staff

Official releases pictorial evidence

This is a picture of the money that a Caribbean football official says he was offered following a presentation by FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam.

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The money, as the picture clearly shows, was delivered in a brown envelope with the name of the Bahamas FA on it. Inside the envelope was US $40,000 in crisp, new $100 bills - four packs each of $10,000.

For many officials from the Caribbean's smaller islands, this would be the equivalent of several years' salary.

The date was May 10, the place the Hyatt Regency hotel in Trinidad where the members of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) had been invited to a special meeting to listen to FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam present his manifesto.

Afterwards, the 25 associations - whose flights and hotel costs for two officials each were being covered by Bin Hammam - were asked to attend a conference room to pick up "a gift", according to an affidavit sent to FIFA's ethics committee.

Fred Lunn, the vice-president of the Bahamas FA, 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 $100 fell out and on to the table. I was stunned to see this cash", he said in an affidavit which was presented to FIFA's ethics committee on Sunday.

Lunn said he was not authorised to accept such a gift but was urged to do so by a CFU official. He decided to hold on to the money and contact his association's president Anton Sealey, which he did by text message.

Copies of these text messages were also sent to the ethics committee which suspended Bin Hammam and FIFA vice-president Jack Warner on Sunday pending a full inquiry. CFU officials Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester have also been suspended.

Sealey then called Lunn and told him "under no circumstances would the Bahamas FA accept such a cash gift" and that he should return the $40,000.

Lunn took a picture of the money before he replaced it in the envelope, and when he returned to the conference room to hand it back he had to wait while other officials queued to go in.

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.

Sealey replied by text saying: "I'm disappointed but not surprised. It is important that [we] maintain our integrity when the story is told. That money will not make or break our association. You can leave with your head high."

The following morning, May 11, Lunn attended a meeting where delegates were addressed by Warner, who is also the head of the CFU.

"Mr Warner stated that he had instructed Mr Bin Hammam to bring the cash equivalent of any gift he had intended to bring for the people attending this meeting," Mr Lunn said in his affidavit.

"Mr Warner then stated that the money could be used for any purpose ... for grassroots programs or any purpose the individuals saw fit."

By then Sealey had informed Chuck Blazer, the United States' FIFA member and confederation general secretary, who spoke to Lunn and then raised the matter with FIFA's secretary general Jerome Valcke, who in turn asked him to prepare a report.

Blazer also contacted Warner in person to question the payments.

According to an affidavit from Blazer: "At approximately 2:00pm on May 11, 2011, I received a call from Mr Warner. He stated that Mr Bin Hammam provided the money for the cash payment to the CFU delegates at the special Bin Hammam CFU meeting.

"Mr Warner stated that since Mr Bin Hammam was going to be giving the money to the delegates, it was Mr Warner's idea to claim that the money was from the CFU so that it was clear to the delegates that Mr Warner was responsible for getting the money to them."

Blazer's affidavit adds: "Mr Warner told me that that morning he had told to the CFU delegates that Bin Hammam was the actual source of the money and that he (Mr Warner) explained to the delegates that everything was ok because he had advised Mr Bin Hammam to bring the 'gifts' in cash and it was his (Mr Warner's) idea to claim that the money was from the CFU.

"I told Mr Warner that I was upset that he had caused these cash payments to be made. I noted that in 21 years of working together in CONCACAF we had never paid anyone for a vote."

On May 15, Blazer instructed Chicago lawyer John Collins, legal counsel to the CONCACAF confederation, to start collecting evidence.

The picture was included in the evidence, and Collins was able to show the timeline of the photograph as May 10, 2011, a bar receipt from the Hyatt Regency hotel, Hyatt memo pads and a CFU letterhead.

The dossier of evidence includes copies of emails sent from Warner to Blazer at the beginning of April, urging him to set up a special meeting for Bin Hammam.

After Blazer blocked this request, Warner emailed: "Chuck, Bin Hamman does not wish to speak to our members at our May 3 Congress and, in some ways, neither do I wish for him to do so. Since you are of a different opinion from me on this matter I will let him talk to the members of the Caribbean Football Union instead and invite such other members who are willing to attend to do so."

Warner, Bin Hammam and the two CFU officials have been banned from all football-related activities while the full inquiry takes place.

The travel expenses for the Caribbean officials came to $360,000, according to a statement from Bin Hammam. A separate affidavit sent to FIFA's ethics committee said the travel and hotel accommodation was arranged through Simpaul Travel, a firm previously linked to the family of FIFA vice-president Jack Warner.

Bin Hammam, the Asian football president, said in a statement: "Since this was an extraordinary meeting of the CFU, Mr Bin Hammam found it correct and insisted to pay the travelling and accommodation expenses of the delegates as well as the overall costs of the conference.

"For this purpose, Mr Bin Hammam transferred the estimated costs of $360,000 to the CFU prior to the meeting in Trinidad.''

In a television interview earlier on Monday however, Warner said the amount transferred was $100,000 less.

"Mr Bin Hammam never gave any money to the countries of the Caribbean,'' he said. "Bin Hammam wired $260,000 to pay for accommodation, air fares, this is the norm.''

A report to FIFA's ethics committee by American lawyer John Collins named Sonia Bien-Aime, the secretary general of the Turks and Caicos Islands FA, as having confirmed Simpaul organised the travel and accommodation.

The report states: "Ms. Bien-Aime stated that the airline ticket she received to attend the meeting had been sent by Simpaul Travel in Trinidad.''

Simpaul Travel was investigated by FIFA after it was revealed that 2006 World Cup tickets were channelled through the company.


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