Warner returns England World Cup bid handbag

FIFA vice-president Jack Warner is returning a handbag given to his wife by England's 2018 World Cup bid because he says it has become "a symbol of derision, betrayal and embarrassment".

It was reported today that the CONCACAF president had written to FA chairman Lord Triesman to complain about media coverage of what was intended to be a goodwill gesture.

Warner, one of the FIFA executive members who will decide who gets the tournament, also told Triesman that "there is nothing that your FA can offer me to get my vote.

"If England does get it, it is because CONCACAF and I sincerely believe that England is deserving."

Warner kicked up a storm last month when the Trinidadian told a Leaders in Football conference in London that England's bid was falling off the pace and needed more 'stardust'.

The £230 handbag, whose cost is within FIFA guidelines over acceptable gifts, was given to Warner's wife by former FA chairman Geoff Thompson at a dinner coinciding with that conference.

Warner was quoted as saying in his letter that subsequent media comments had "resulted in the tainting of her character and mine.

"I have faced and continue to face all kinds of indignities from all manner of persons," he added. "But when these insults touch my wife, it represents an all-time low.

"This malaise of my wife and I has been allowed to fester for too long much to our embarrassment and the embarrassment of the institutions which I represent," he added, criticising the "deafening silence" from the FA.

"In this regard, therefore there is only one recourse: a return of this gift, which has become a symbol of derision, betrayal and embarrassment for me and my family."

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