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Ex-FIFA vice-president Jack Warner ordered to repay $220,000

FILE PHOTO: Videograb of indicted former FIFA vice president Jack Warner giving money to a supporter at his office in Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago on 6 June 2015. He was indicted by the United States for allegedly taking a $10 million bribe to help South Africa win the race to host the 2010 World Cup. (Photo by Federica NARANCIO / AFP)

Jack Warner, a former FIFA vice-president banned for life by the governing body, was ordered to repay more than $220,000 to a businessman by the Trinidadian justice system on Monday.

“The Board… orders the defendants (Warner and two associates) to repay to the claimant the sum of TT$1,505,493 ($222,000) together with interest on that amount… from 2018 until repayment,” according to the decision of the Privy Council of Trinidad and Tobago.

In 2007, Trinidadian businessman Krishna Lalla loaned TT$1.5 million to Warner for his Joao Havelange Centre of Excellence, a football academy named in honor of the Brazilian former president of FIFA and located in Trinidad.

Warner promised to repay the amount using a TT$10 million subvention that he expected to receive from FIFA, according to Lalla’s testimony.

The property in question was inaugurated in 1999 and contains pitches, function rooms, a hotel, a conference center, a swimming pool, and gym.

Warner’s lawyers said that it was a gift intended to fund the electoral campaign of the United National Congress, a political party for whom Warner was an MP (2007-2015) and Minister of National Security (2010-2013).

The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), formerly presided over by Warner, has sued the latter, claiming to be the rightful owner of the property.

Warner was banned for life from football by FIFA following the corruption scandal that embroiled the game’s world governing body in 2015.

Earlier that year, the Trinidadian was indicted on corruption charges by US authorities, who requested his extradition.

As a member of FIFA’s executive committee, Warner voted in favor of attributing the hosting rights of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar.

FIFA led its own investigation into the bidding processes for these two tournaments, prior to the ruling in favor of banning Warner who quit the federation in 2011.

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