(TrinidadExpress) A previously undisclosed document, detailing claims that Works Minister and former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner handed a senior Caribbean football official a locked case containing envelopes of cash to be distributed to members of the Caribbean Football Union at a special meeting in Port of Spain promoting Mohamed bin Hammam’s FIFA presidential bid, has surfaced.
The allegation is contained in a report by the CFU general secretary Angenie Kanhai obtained by the BBC.
The two-page document, on CFU headed paper and dated July 15, was prepared for FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke but was to be sent via the CFU’s executive committee.
It is understood this document has now been submitted to the ethics committee investigating claims that bin Hammam tried to bribe members of the CFU with gifts of £40,000 each.
Kanhai has travelled toZurich,Switzerland, where the hearing is taking place, and, crucially, was expected to give evidence.
Warner, bin Hammam and two CFU officials, Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester, refused to co-operate with FIFA’s ethics committee investigation, carried out by former FBI director Louis Freeh.
So the apparent co-operation of such a senior figure at the top of the CFU—Warner was effectively Kanhai’s boss—is a significant development.
In a series of bullet points, signed by Kanhai, a detailed account is given of what happened during the meeting of the CFU at the Hyatt Regency (Trinidad) Hotel inPort of Spainon May 10 and 11. The document states:
“I was directed to coordinate the special meeting of the CFU by Mr Jack Warner, who was at that time, president of the CFU. Mr Warner initially requested the meeting be held by April 18, 2011, but the May date was ultimately agreed.
“The purpose of the special meeting was to provide Mr bin Hammam with the opportunity to address the delegates from the CFU.
“On May 10, 2011, Mr Warner advised me that he had gifts, which were to be distributed to the delegates. Mr Warner did not tell me what the gifts were, but advised that they were to be distributed from the hotel (sic) that afternoon. After consulting with my staff, Jason Sylvester and Debbie Minguell, I suggested to Mr Warner that the gifts be distributed between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. that day.
“During the morning session on May 10, Mr Warner made an announcement to the attendees about picking up the above-mentioned (sic) gift. I was told that I should come to his office to collect the gifts that were to be distributed.
“I arrived at Mr Warner’s office at approximately 2.30 p.m. on May 10 and collected a locked bag with the key in the front pocket.
“The bag contained 26 envelopes, these envelopes were unmarked and were folded and sealed. I did not see any envelopes opened and left Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester to distribute the envelopes.
“The next day I met Debbie and Jason for breakfast at the hotel and they advised me that the envelopes had contained cash.”
The report goes on to say: “In speaking with the representative from theBahamasI was advised that he had returned the envelope. The representative from the Turks and Caicos returned the envelope to Ms Minguell on the morning of May 11 2011.
“After the meeting I was contacted by Mr Warner who asked that the bag and any remaining gifts be returned to him.”
Although bin Hammam, Minguell and Sylvester all face being banned from football following the ethics committee hearing, all the charges against Warner were dropped last month after he resigned from FIFA and his powerful positions inCaribbeanfootball.
The new evidence emerged as FIFA’s ethics committee began hearing the case against bin Hammam.
A verdict is expected today.
Warner did not have much to say on the matter when questioned by reporters during a Wallerfield tour yesterday except that he was looking on.