|By GOAL AUSTRALIA
New revelations about Australia's disastrous World Cup bid show that former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner allegedly stole a $462,000 donation from Football Federation of Australia in 2010.
Warner resigned as Trinidad and Tobago's national security minister on Monday, two days after being accused of fraudulent management of the CONCACAF football federation's funds by the regional governing body's ethics panel.
The panel's inquiry found that Warner, who stepped down as CONCACAF president in 2011 amid investigation into a bribery scandal surrounding the Fifa presidential elections, stole funds allocated to a stadium project in Port of Spain, which included the FFA's donation.
Warner had full control of the account holding the stadium development funds and later appears to have pocketed the money, the inquiry found.
"Given the history of Warner's conduct, his failure to report this payment as income, and the general lack of accountability of funds sent to CONCACAF operations in Trinidad and Tobago, the committee concludes that Warner misappropriated these funds," the panel's report read.
The donation from Australian football chiefs came at a time when they were lobbying Warner to back their bid to host the World Cup in 2022.
The FFA has maintained that all spending in the failed $45 million bid, which secured a solitary vote from Fifa's 24-member executive, was scrutinised with appropriate due diligence.
In response to the latest revelations, FFA head of corporate affairs Kyle Patterson said: "This funding related to the mandatory Fifa World Cup bidding criteria. FFA was required to demonstrate its credentials in the area of international development.
"The funding of preliminary design and feasibility works for a CONCACAF Centre of Excellence in Trinidad was one of a range of international development projects FFA undertook. All were reported to the Australian Government.
"The funds were allocated from FFA's international football development budget at the time and were not part of government funds provided to the World Cup bid."
Warner, who assumed a role in the Trinidad and Tobago parliament in 2012, denies any wrongdoing.