Jack Warner avoids sanctions from FIFA

FIFA vice-president Jack Warner was scolded Wednesday but not sanctioned by the soccer federation's disciplinary committee.

FIFA vice-president Jack Warner has escaped sanction, but not disapproval over allegations he illegally sold thousands of tickets during the World Cup.

The FIFA disciplinary committee investigating the matter said Wednesday there was no evidence that Warner infringed FIFA rules during the tournament in Germany.

Marcel Mathier, who headed the committee's examination, recommended that world soccer's governing body express its disapproval of Warner, but said the case should now be closed.

According to British reports in September, Warner was involved in the sale of thousands of World Cup tickets on the black market, including to 900 England fans.

The Daily Mail reported it had obtained confidential reports produced by auditors Ernst & Young for FIFA revealing that Warner made at least $933,000 US selling World Cup tickets.

"It could not be evidenced that Mr. Jack Warner had knowledge of the resale of these tickets at a higher price," Mathier said. "The resale is certainly forbidden, but the person who did the reselling is not subject to the FIFA jurisdiction because it is the son of Jack Warner."

Mathier said FIFA was unable to sanction Warner's son, Daryan, because he was employed outside the FIFA family.

Daryan allegedly sold the tickets through the Trinidad and Tobago travel agency Simpaul, which was owned by Warner's family.

Despite a lack of evidence of wrongdoing, Mathier recommended that Warner be scolded.

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

The FIFA executive committee adopted the recommendations and said Warner should ensure that his son in the future "does not abuse the position held by his father."

In September, FIFA president Sepp Blatter confirmed that the governing body had been notified of the ticket sales by Ernst & Young months earlier but had sought to deal with the case internally.

He sent the case to the 19-member disciplinary body only after the media reports surfaced.

"Mr. Warner has accepted the report which has been presented and the unanimous decision of the executive committee without any comment," Blatter said. "Now that is all in relation to this affair of ticketing during the World Cup and it was decided by the executive committee that we would now close this case."

Warner is also president of CONCACAF, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Another senior FIFA official, executive committee member Ismail Bhamjee of Botswana, was sent home from the World Cup in Germany for selling tickets.

Bhamjee sold 12 tickets for England's match against Trinidad and Tobago for $380 US each.

The tickets had a face value of $127 US apiece.