The man in black is Jack Warner, the CONCACAF President and FIFA Executive Committee member who just finished voting on the selection of World Cup 2018 and 2022. A long-time target of corruption allegations, Warner is under fresh claims of shady behavior amid new reports suggesting that he did not vote for the United States in its bid to host the 2022 World Cup.
A pair of reports out of England both made the suggestion based on the fact that Warner did not lobby English FIFA Executive Committee member Geoff Thompson for him to vote for the USA's 2018 bid. The American bid managed just three votes in the first round of FIFA voting for the 2022 World Cup, which raises the question of whether the three CONCACAF-based voters (Warner, American Chuck Blazer and Guatemalan Rafael Salguero) actually voted for the American bid.
The allegation comes as fresh claims of bribes and corrupt dealings involving the recent World Cup voting are also surfacing. The Times of London is reporting that a whistle blower has stepped forward claiming FIFA voters sold votes for as much as $1.5 million each. Also, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that a former member of Qatar's bid team revealed that a payment of almost $80 million was suggested to be made to Argentina to help secure the vote of Argentine FIFA voter Julio Grondona.
The accusations against Warner are not surprising, but If the mere fact that Warner didn't ask Thompson to promise his vote for USA in 2022 is the basis for the allegations against Warner it does seem a bit flimsy. That said, it doesn't help Warner that he's widely-regarded as one of, if not the most corrupt man in world soccer.
Warner has been the subject of multiple reports out of England detailing his many questionable dealings, and he has been identified as one of the voters who didn't vote for England despite giving the England bidders his promise that he would not only vote for England, but also secure the votes of Blazer and Salguero for England. With England managing just two votes in the first round of 2018 voting, and with Thompson being one of those voters, Warner will have a hard time convincing anybody he was the lone other voter for England.
As far as the idea that CONCACAF turned its back on the USA bid, it is entirely possible that one or more of the three CONCACAF voters went with another 2022 bid. For his part, Blazer (pictured above with MLS commissioner Don Garber) has already come forward to state emphatically that he voted for the United States in every round.
What do you think? Think Warner is guilty of turning his back on his own federation? Praying someone finds a paper trail that helps bring down FIFA's corrupt bosses?
Share your thoughts below.