FIFA have terminated a multi-million-pound 2014 World Cup TV deal after discovering the rights had been sub-licensed to a company owned by controversial former vice-president Jack Warner.
The agreement with the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) was brought to an end after FIFA told the organisation they had not approved the sub-licensing deal with Warner’s company JD International (JDI). Warner, who was at that time also the CFU’s president, sold the rights to Jamaica-based cable TV station SportsMax in 2007 for a fee reportedly up to $20m, though that included the 2010 World Cup as well.
FIFA were also owed several payments dating back to 2009 for the rights, which covered 29 Caribbean countries.
Warner resigned from all football activities in June, a month after being charged with bribery by FIFA, who then dropped their investigation saying they no longer had jurisdiction over the Trinidadian. FIFA have sent a letter to the CFU saying they have “only recently become aware” of the sub-licensing agreement, as well as detailing the missed payments, and terminating the contract.
Conservative MP Damian Collins, who is campaigning for FIFA reforms, said Warner’s involvement pointed to a conflict of interest.
The initial contract with the CFU was agreed in 2005 giving the organisation the rights for the 2010 and 2014 World Cups for countries in the Caribbean.
The CFU, headed by Warner, sub-licensed the rights to his company JDI. In 2007, JDI sold on those rights to SportsMax.
FIFA have said they had not approved the sub-licensing and had only become aware of it recently, but there was no secrecy about Warner’s involvement.
Indeed he held a photo opportunity with SportsMax executives to announce the deal.