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Lowy: I never spoke to Warner about World Cup bid

Football Federation Australia (FFA) chairman Frank Lowy has denied ever talking to Jack Warner about Australia’s bid for the 2022 World Cup and reiterated his stance that it was a clean campaign.

The FFA have come under pressure over a payment of 500,000 Australian dollars that was supposed to be allocated to the CONCACAF Centre of Excellence, but allegedly ended up going to Warner.

Warner – a former FIFA vice-president – was one of 14 people, including nine past and present FIFA officials, indicted last month for racketeering conspiracy and corruption.

While Lowy did not deny the FFA targeted Warner’s vote, he insisted they ran an honourable bid and distanced himself from any communications with the former CONCACAF president.

“I have made no offer to him. I have not negotiated with him,” Lowy told Sky News Australia on Tuesday.

“We were trying to influence the whole world. He was one of those people that we were hoping were going to vote for us.

“But I think there were a lot of other countries that thought so also because he made promises to them. But he made no promise to me.”

In a wide-ranging interview, Lowy made no specific allegations against Qatar – the winning bidders for the 2022 World Cup – but questioned how “a country that it is 50 odd degrees during the games” could triumph.

Lowy added: “I’m not the best loser in the world. I have nightmares about all the work we did. And we didn’t get anywhere.

“You [have] just got to get on with it… I take the responsibility and I take the blame, I should have known better.”

The 84-year-old billionaire also declared he would cooperate with any and all inquiries into Australia’s World Cup bid.

“Any inquiry, anybody that is authorised, or has an interest in it, can come and ask any questions and we’ll give it to them,” he said.

Tue 9 Jun, 2015
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