FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke confirmed today that an email he sent suggesting the 2022 World Cup was “bought” was genuine.
The email was made public by banned FIFA vice-president Jack Warner in a blistering attack on the world governing body.
Valcke, according to Warner’s statement, sent an email to him about Mohamed Bin Hammam “buying” the 2022 World Cup for his country.
Bin Hammam was then standing against Sepp Blatter for president – but he has also been banned by the ethics committee on bribery charges.
According to Warner, the email from Valcke to him stated: “For MBH, I never understood why he was running.
“If really he thought he had a chance or just being an extreme way to express how much he does not like anymore JSB [Blatter]. Or he thought you can buy FIFA as they bought the WC.”
Valcke said in Zurich today: “It was a private email and we will discuss it. He sent me an email asking if I want that [Bin Hammam to run], he said that I should ask Bin Hammam to pull out.”
Valcke said Warner had only published selected parts of the email, and he denied claims by Warner and Bin Hammam that he had influenced the ethics committee against them.
He added: “The first time I met the chairman of the ethics committee was yesterday at 5’o’clock before we went to the press conference. I had no contact at all with anyone.”
Meanwhile, UEFA president Michel Platini defended Blatter against other claims by Warner that he had made a 1million US dollar payment to the CONCACAF federation without authorisation of the finance committee. Warner had claimed Platini was “annoyed” about this but the UEFA president said: “It’s not like that, it was a joke with me and Mr Blatter.
“He can give the projects that he wants to give. I joke, I said ’but Sepp this was not accepted by the committee’ – but he can give many projects to many national associations and we will confirm in the GOAL project after.
“In many Congresses for many, many years the president can give one or two projects to national associations – he has his own budget and he can give to one confederation and then it has to be approved of course by the executive committee next time.”
Platini admitted there could be a repeat of the events of the 1999 FIFA Congress when the Asian members walked out in a protest over the number of World Cup places.
He added: “I don’t know what will happen – there are some meetings of the confederations in the next few days, I don’t know what will happen.
“In ’99 Asia left, I don’t know if they will do that again. I think the election will go ahead but I don’t know.”
Blatter said he was not worried about the threat of that happening.
He said: “I have already faced that once and the Congress went on. They will be there I am aure.”