| 13.1°C Dublin

Warner: I got World Cup TV rights for $1 in Blatter deal

FORMER FIFA vice-president Jack Warner has claimed that he got the World Cup television rights for Trinidad & Tobago for $1 after helping Sepp Blatter get elected president of soccer's world governing body.

Warner, who quit FIFA in June after accusations of bribery, said in a statement yesterday that he got the rights for the 1998 finals via a Mexican company and also acquired them for the 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 renewals.

The Trinidad and Tobago native used the revenue from selling on the rights to develop the sport in the Caribbean, according to the statement.

Warner quit during a FIFA investigation into allegations about him and another vice- president, Mohamed Bin Hamman. Both were accused of giving Caribbean officials $40,000 in cash to gain support for Bin Hammam's presidential campaign against Blatter.

At the time, Warner denied wrongdoing and said he'd been "hung out to dry" after 30 years with FIFA.

FIFA said in an email that "it will look into" Warner's comments, and the organisation's London-based spokesman Brian Alexander declined to make any immediate response.

World Cup television rights are normally sold directly to broadcasters, or sub-contracted companies to negotiate sales.


Warner said he refused to endorse Blatter in the June election even though he was offered the rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals for a nominal fee.

He also alleged that he was offered other "inducements" to develop soccer in the region, including relaying turf at a stadium in Trinidad and Tobago and $1m in grants, according to the statement.

Meanwhile, Fulham are considering a £4m bid for West Ham striker Carlton Cole should they sell Bobby Zamora in the January transfer window.

However, West Ham do not want to sell Cole as they push for promotion from the Championship and attempt to strengthen their own strike force.

Yesterday they had an offer of £3.25m rejected by Cardiff City for Peter Whittingham, having already failed with a bid of £3m for Huddersfield striker Jordan Rhodes.

Cardiff have warned clubs they will not sell Whittingham (27), while Huddersfield have issued a similar rebuff for Scotland international Rhodes (21), who has scored 20 goals in 20 League One matches.

Sunderland's new manager Martin O'Neill is understood to be interested in Zamora and might meet the asking price, which could be as high as £8m.

Irish Independent