Fifa’s FBI-led investigation into bribery allegations against Mohamed Bin Hammam and Jack Warner has been contacted by new witnesses who claim they can support the accusations, Telegraph Sport can disclose.

Fifa's FBI-led bribery investigation takes new twist as new witnesses emerge

Under fire: Fifa suspended Jack Warner(left) and Mohamed bin Hammam amid allegations the two executive committee members bribed voters in the presidential election campaign. Photo: AP
Paul Kelso
By Paul Kelso, Chief Sports Reporter |
10:30PM BST 02 Jun 2011
The independent investigation is being led by the former director of the FBI Louis Freeh, who was appointed last week and is working under the direction of the Fifa ethics committee.
It has also emerged that two other Fifa executive committee members travelled to the meeting at which Bin Hammam addressed members of the Caribbean Football Union.
Worawi Makudi of Thailand and V Manilal Fernando of Sri Lanka, who was appointed to the executive committee this week, are understood to have accompanied Bin Hammam to the special conference in Port-of-Spain.
It is unclear in what capacity Makudi and Manilal attended. Attempts to contact both men on Thursday were unsuccessful.
Since Freeh opened the investigation last week a number of national associations present at a meeting in Trinidad, at which $1 million (£600,000) in bribes are alleged to have been offered, have made contact.
Freeh, 61, served as an FBI special agent before becoming an attorney, and made his name as lead prosecutor in a notorious New York Mafia trial in the 1980s. He was director of the FBI for eight years between 1993 and 2001.

Freeh has begun interviewing witnesses who attended the CFU meeting, including those who provided statements and sworn affidavits to the original investigation ordered by American Fifa executive committee member Chuck Blazer.

Former US federal prosecutor John Collins compiled a report based on witness statements from seven Caribbean football officials from four countries, as well as testimony from Blazer.

Blazer is expected to be interviewed by Freeh, as well as Anton Sealey, the president of the Bahamas Football Association who was first to raise the alleged bribes with Blazer


The new witnesses have come forward since Blazer warned members of the CFU earlier this week to return any money they may have been offered, or face investigation.

Bin Hammam and Warner have been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation into allegations that they offered $1million (£600,000) in bribes at the CFU summit.

Officials are said to have been offered $40,000 in brown envelopes in exchange for their vote in the presidential election.

Both Bin Hammam and Warner deny any wrongdoing.

Warner has submitted a lengthy defence of his conduct, dismissing the allegations as a fabrication. His statement is accompanied by supporting statements from 13 Caribbean nations who say that the allegations are false.Those statements will also be closely scrutinised by Freeh.

Bin Hammam has appealed against his suspension and says the allegations are part of a dirty tricks campaign that prevented him from challenging Sepp Blatter in the Fifa presidential election.

Bin Hammam stood down from the election under pressure from the Emir of Qatar, who wants to avoid Fifa re-examining the bidding process for the 2022 World Cup.

The Qatar bid has been the subject of further scrutiny after Warner published an email in which Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke said the World Cup had been “bought”.

Valcke denied that he was implying corruption and Blatter said there is no case for Qatar to answer, but further revelations would make it hard to resist an investigation given the Fifa president’s commitment to “zero tolerance” this week.



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