PtG Article 22.12.2006

FIFA severely reprimands vice president Jack Warner for illegal ticket sales

FIFA vice president Jack Warner’s son Daryan illegally resold World Cup tickets, says FIFA. Warner himself escapes sanctions because FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee could not find any proof that Warner knew about it. However, had the case been tried under FIFA’s new Code of Ethics, Warner might not have been able to get away with only a telling-off.

In reports from FIFA’s own auditors Ernst & Young, Warner was linked to the sale of thousands of World Cup tickets on the black market through the travel agency Simpaul that is owned by Warner’s family. However, according to Marcel Mathier who headed the Disciplinary Committee’s examination of the Warner case, little could be done as the person carrying out the sale was Daryan Warner, Jack Warner’s son.

“The resale is certainly forbidden, but the person who did the reselling is not subject to FIFA jurisdiction,” Mathier told a press conference.

The committee concluded that it could not find evidence that Warner knew about the resale of the tickets at a higher price but nevertheless recommended that Warner should be reprimanded by the Executive Committee.

“Subjectively speaking, one could ask oneself whether Jack Warner did not have any knowledge of the activity of his son in relation to ticketing,” said Mathier.

The Executive Committee followed the advice and has expressed disapproval of Warner's conduct and reminds him to exercise the requisite level of care in ticketing matters in the future and to strictly abide by all directives. In particular, Warner must ensure that his son, Daryan Warner, does not abuse the position held by his father.

The question is however if Warner would have gotten off so lightly if his case had been tried under article 8 in FIFA’s new Code of Ethics. This article deals with conflicts of interests for FIFA officials.

A conflict of interest arises if officials have, or appear to have, private or personal interests that detract from their ability to carry out their obligations with integrity. Private or personal interests include gaining any possible advantage for himself, his family, relatives, friends and acquaintances. Failure to comply with the article means that the official can be removed from office.

The link to family was not included in the old Code of Ethics that was in force until 15 September this year. It was the old code that was applied to this most recent Warner case because the case had been raised before FIFA set up a new Ethics Committee under the chairmanship of Lord Sebastian Coe in September this year.

Warner appears oblivious to the reprimand

Whilst FIFA’s Executive Committee has expressed its strongest disapproval yet of the conduct of Jack Warner, Warner himself seems oblivious to the reprimand.

“I have been vindicated today by the FIFA Executive Committee as I had always expected for, as I have said from the inception, that I had committed no offence. I am happy that my record making 24 consecutive years in the FIFA Executive Committee today remains unblemished,” he told the website of the Soca Warriors after the meeting in Zürich.

Warner has also received support for the idea that he was innocent from Danny Jordaan, the CEO of the local organising committee for the FIFA World Cup in South Africa in 2010.

“FIFA has announced its decision and the case is now closed. In fact there never was a case really. I don’t think Warner was ever in a position where he needed to be in fear because he stood his ground and was rightfully proven to be innocent. We are well aware though that his detractors may continue his attacks on him. These detractors need to get the facts and FIFA has rightly revealed these facts today,” Jordaan said according to the Trinidad and Tobago Express.