NEWS
04/26/2013 09:31 EDT | Updated 06/26/2013 05:12 EDT

Warner claims $6M FIFA gift for Trinidad centre was to back Blatter as president in 1998

GENEVA - Disgraced former football official Jack Warner says FIFA gifted him $6 million toward a training centre in Trinidad to support Sepp Blatter's first election as president.

Warner claims his May 1998 deal with then-FIFA President Joao Havelange ensured total backing from the CONCACAF region for Blatter in his tight contest against Lennart Johansson weeks later.

Warner has published letters apparently showing Havelange agreed to convert FIFA's loan into a personal donation.

Without 30 CONCACAF's votes, Warner claims "Blatter would never have seen the light of day as President of FIFA."

Warner's controversial ownership of the Trinidad centre, now valued at $22.5 million and named after Havelange, led a CONCACAF-appointed integrity panel last week to accuse him of fraudulently managing the regional body.

Warner resigned from the Trinidad government last Sunday.