Fifa last night faced potentially damaging fresh accusations of corruption, this time involving Sepp Blatter, the world governing body's president. Jack Warner, once Blatter's right-hand man, said he was awarded lucrative World Cup TV rights for a nominal $1 after assisting Blatter's election as president.
Warner, who ran the game in the Caribbean, claimed that he refused to back Blatter for this year's election – the 75-year-old Swiss was re-elected unopposed in June – despite being offered the 2018 and 2022 World Cup rights for Trinidad & Tobago for another nominal fee. He also said other "inducements" to develop football in the region were made to him in exchange for backing Blatter.
Damian Collins, the Conservative MP who sits on the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee and has formed a global grouping of politicians to push for reform at Fifa, last night called for an investigation. "These are serious allegations that must surely go to the very top of Fifa and need to be fully and independently investigated," Collins said.
Fifa told Bloomberg it would "look into" Warner's claims. Blatter has always denied any wrongdoing during his presidency and recently has stressed his desire to instigate a change of culture among Fifa's controversial executive committee.
It has been a challenging year for Blatter. As well as repeated claims of corruption made against executive committee members, there was the scandal of the expulsion of Qatari billionaire Mohamed Bin Hammam first from the election contest and then from Fifa.