CAIRO (Reuters) - The former head of Egypt’s football federation said on Sunday that ex-FIFA Vice President Jack Warner asked for $7 million from Egypt, suggesting it could help with Egypt’s bid to host the 2010 World Cup.
Al-Dahshouri Harb told Reuters in a telephone interview that Warner expressed interest to him in being an adviser to Egypt’s bid and had said the money could be used to support poor football associations in Latin American countries.
Harb quoted Warner as saying at a meeting in the United Arab Emirates: “I have many votes in Latin America and I could be your adviser in Europe. I have many friends (there)”.
Harb said Warner asked for $7 million, saying he would not take the money for himself but to give to “the poor clubs and federations in Latin America.”
The meeting took place before 2010, said Harb, who did not elaborate.
Warner could not immediately be reached for comment. He is among nine current and former FIFA officials and five corporate executives charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with running a criminal enterprise that involved more than $150 million in alleged bribes.
Warner has denied the charges against him and has said he never took a bribe. “I have been afforded no due process and I have not even been questioned in this matter,” Warner, who is from Trinidad and Tobago, said in a statement last month. “I reiterate that I am innocent of any charges.”
Egypt famously failed to receive a single vote when the host of the 2010 World Cup was announced in 2004. The tournament ultimately went to South Africa.
Aley Eddine Helal, Egypt’s minister of youth and sports from 1999 to 2004, told an Egyptian TV show on Thursday that Harb had told him about the offer to help Egypt after their meeting.
“He came back and informed me that (Warner) had said: ‘If you want to win, you must pay $6-7 million. One vote costs $1 million’”, said Helal.
He said Egyptian authorities had rejected the offer.
Reuters could not immediately reach Helal for further comment.
Reporting by Yara Bayoumy and Stephen Kalin; Writing by Stephen Kalin; Editing by Peter Cooney and Frances Kerry