Trinidad and Tobago's National Security Minister Jack Warner views the 50th Independence Day parade in the capital, Port of Spain in this file photo taken August 31, 2012 (Photo: Reuters)
A former Egyptian Football Association chairman has accused ex-FIFA Vice-President Jack Warner of seeking a bribe to help garner votes for Egypt’s ill-fated bid to host the 2010 World Cup, which was eventually staged by South Africa.
El-Dahshouri Harb, who was EFA chairman when Egypt entered a hotly-contested race with the aim of becoming the first African country to host the World Cup, said on Sunday Egypt rebuffed the attempt of Warner to be an adviser of the bid.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Warner was a member of FIFA’s powerful Executive Committee and the head of CONCACAF at the time.
“I did not imagine that FIFA was so corrupt. We met warner in the United Arab Emirates, where he asked us for a $7 million bribe in return of helping us get 13 votes in the World Cup bid,” Harb said in a television interview with Sada El-Balad channel early Sunday.
“He said he would be able to get us votes from the Americas and some from Central Asia and asked to be the bid’s adviser," Harb said.
“We referred the matter to the minister of youth who consulted with the prime minister and the president. Egypt’s stance was clear: we preferred to get zero votes than paying a bribe,” he added.
Egypt failed to get a single vote when the winner was announced in 2004, with South Africa beating competition from Morocco to win hosting rights of the football’s most prestigious tournament.
The outcome sent shockwaves across Egypt, with local media launching a scathing attack on football officials at the time, calling the result “the World Cup zero scandal.”
Warner resigned from his FIFA posts in June 2011, almost a month after being provisionally suspended by FIFA’s Ethics Committee pending the outcome of corruption allegations against him.
Harb said Egypt should not support incumbent FIFA President Sepp Blatter in upcoming FIFA elections on 29 May. The 79-year-old Swiss is the overwhelming favourite to win, which would mean a fifth term in office.
Blatter will face competition from former Portugal star Luis Figo, Dutch Federation President Michael van Praag and Jordanian Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein, who is also a FIFA vice-president.
“Given what Blatter and his FIFA did to us, we should support our brother Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein. We should make that very clear,” Harb added.
Egypt has yet to formally announce backing any candidate, but local reports suggested the country would support Blatter.
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