A series of documents show a senior Fifa official was paid by a company controlled by a former Qatari football official shortly after the country won its bid for the 2022 World Cup.
A senior Fifa official and his family were reportedly about $2 million (£1.2m) from a Qatari firm which was linked to the country’s successful bid for the 2022 World Cup.
Jack Warner, who previously occupied the post of Fifa vice-president, according to sources familiar with the matter, was paid paid $1.2 million (£720,000) from a company controlled by a former Qatari football official shortly after the country received the right to host the tournament.
Payments totalling almost $750,000 (£450,000) were made to Mr Warner’s sons, documents obtained by some media show. A further $400,000 (£240,000) was paid to one of his employees.
“It is understood that the FBI is now investigating Trinidad-based Mr Warner and his alleged links to the Qatari bid, and that the former Fifa official’s eldest son, who lives in Miami, has been helping the inquiry as a co-operating witness,” The Telegraph reports.
The awarding of the 2022 World Cup to country appeared to be one the most controversial in the history of this tournament, with many experts arguing that the summer heat in the desert nation has raised the prospect of the event being moved to the winter for the first time.
Although the country and its official have repeatedly denied wrongdoing during the process of bidding, it has long been suspected that the decision was flawed, and several members of the Fifa committee have faced corruption allegations.
It can be disclosed that a company owned by Mohamed Bin Hammam, the Fifa executive member for Qatar, reportedly paid $1.2 million (£720,000) to Mr Warner back in 2011.
A note from one of Mr Warner’s companies, Jamad, to Mr Bin Hammam’s firm, Kemco, requested $1.2 million in payment for work carried out between 2005 and 2010.
The document is dated December 15, 2010, two weeks after the country received the right to host World Cup 2022, and states that the money is “payable to Jack Warner”.
One document states that payments are to “offset legal and other expenses”, however, a separate letter claims that more than $1 million cover “professional services provided over the period 2005-2010”.
At least one bank in the Cayman Islands initially refused to provide payment amid fears over the legality of the money transfer. The money was eventually processed via a bank in New York – a transaction that is understood to have come to the attention of the FBI.
A well-placed source said: “These payments need to be properly investigated. The World Cup is the most important event in football and we need to be confident that decisions have been made for the right reasons. There are lots of questions that still need to be answered.”
Mr Warner and his family declined to comment. A spokesman for Qatar’s 2022 World Cup organising committee said: “The 2022 bid committee strictly adhered to Fifa’s bidding regulations in compliance with their code of ethics.
“The supreme committee for delivery and legacy and the individuals involved in the 2022 bid committee are unaware of any allegations surrounding business dealings between private individuals.”