The SFO has said it has “actively been assessing material in relation to this matter and has made plain it stands ready to assist continuing international criminal investigations.”
The witnesses, also including Jaimie Fuller of New Fifa Now and the former Australia 2022 bid executive turned whistleblower Bonita Mersiades, called for independent reform of Fifa and cast doubt on the internal process being led by former International Olympic Committee executive François Carrard. Earlier this week Domenico Scala, the head of Fifa’s audit and compliance committee, made his own reform proposals to feed into the process.
“The reform process needs to be top to bottom. They are circling the wagons. They don’t want that kind of reform because they don’t want the scrutiny it will bring to the past,” Unger said. “We’ve called it a crisis of corruption and we’ll stand by that. I doubt the latest reform proposals from Scala will get very far.”
In the context of a discussion around the questions still to be answered by the FA, Fuller raised the historic case of two Trinidad & Tobago players with links to Warner who were granted work permits by the Home Office in 2001.
Fuller, the founder of sportswear brand Skins, said they had “applied for work permits, those work permits were declined, they lost the appeal, they magically got a work permit”.
It was reported in 2001 that the former sports minister Kate Hoey had claimed Carlos Edwards and Hector Sam, two Wrexham players with links to Warner, had been granted work permits in the hope of winning Warner’s support. The Home Office said at the time: “If new evidence comes to light and they meet the criteria, there’s nothing untoward about that.”