According to former Egyptian minister of youth and sport Aley Eddine Helal, in 2004 former FIFA vice president Jack Warner asked Egypt to pay $7 million for seven World Cup votes.
Egypt was one of the bidders to host the 2010 World Cup. The tournament was ultimately awarded to South Africa. When the 2010 votes were tallied, the North African nation received zero votes. Helal shared his recollections with the AFP:
“Warner was the one who approached us from FIFA. He said he could guarantee us seven votes… He asked for one million dollars for each vote.”
But former Egyptian Football Association president Youssef el-Dahshori told the AFP that Egypt didn’t bite:
“We didn’t pay any bribes. That was one of the reasons why we didn’t get any votes.”
According to Dahshori, Warner claimed the money wasn’t for him, rather it was to be used for “developing sport in Latin America.”
Dahshori claims that Warner offered to be Egypt’s consultant in Latin America in Europe. That was probably the first red flag. Anyone vaguely offering consulting services should be treated with suspicion, especially around a bidding process. In fact, I’m considering offering consulting services to people considering hiring consultants offering consulting services. But I’m different; I’m not like the others.
The fascinating part about all the Warner stories that have emerged since the FIFA arrests is just how many soccer officials around the world seemed to be so well-versed in Jack Warner’s shadiness. Yet it continued with impunity for years. Remember, this is the same man who, in 2007, said, “Nobody in Europe likes England.” A year later, England was playing a friendly match in Warner’s backyard, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, as it tried to land votes for its bid to host the 2018 World Cup.
I have no doubt that Jack Warner is evil, but he has definitely had a lot of support — even if only through knowledgeable actors remaining silent — for his global campaign of evilness. We should all remember this when discussing Warner’s general awfulness.