FIFA vice-president Jack Warner has hit out at the English Football Association for the way it handled the controversy surrounding the handbag which was given to his wife by former FA chairman Geoff Thompson.
The handbag, worth £230, was presented to Warner last month at a ‘Leaders in Football’ conference in London last month and fell within FIFA rules in relation to gifts. Now he has returned the gift, furious at the media storm it has created.
But Warner claims the handbag has become “a symbol of derision, betrayal and embarrassment” and he is annoyed that he received no backing from the FA.
England are bidding for the 2018 or 2022 World Cup finals, and CONCACAF official Warner is one of the officials who will determine which countries win the vote.
British newspapers reported that Warner has written to FA chairman Lord Triesman to complain, stating that “there is nothing that your FA can offer me to get my vote”.
He said: “If England does get it, it is because CONCACAF and I sincerely believe that England is deserving. ‘I have faced and continue to face all kinds of indignities from all manner of persons. But when these insults touch my wife, it represents an all-time low.
“This malaise of my wife and I has been allowed to fester for too long much to our embarrassment and the embarrassment of the institutions which I represent,” he added, criticising the “deafening silence” from the FA.
“In this regard, therefore there is only one recourse: a return of this gift, which has become a symbol of derision, betrayal and embarrassment for me and my family.”