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Fifa man hands back England gift

By James Pearce
BBC sports news correspondent

England World Cup bid logo

A senior member of Fifa's Executive Committee has returned the handbag given to his wife by the team bidding to host the 2018 World Cup in England.

The BBC revealed last month the England bid team had purchased 24 luxury handbags, one for the wife or partner of each of the 24 Fifa voters.

But Jack Warner, the only member of the governing body to have so far received a handbag, returned it on Wednesday.

Fifa's Ethics Committee may yet discuss the matter at its next meeting.

"As far as I am concerned my wife is sacrosanct and I want no part of anything that affects her so we decided to return the bag," Warner explained.

It was just a symbolic gift and was completely unsolicited - it didn't matter if it cost £2 or £200

Jack Warner

"I believe this was a very innocuous gift given by the FA to my wife for her birthday that led to her being embarrassed by the English media.

"It was just a symbolic gift and was completely unsolicited - it didn't matter if it cost £2 or £200."

When the BBC first broke the story of the handbag purchases the England 2018 team insisted that they had done nothing wrong, but a week later Fifa bowed to pressure and published the rules of the bidding contest.

The rules state that gifts should not be permitted "except for occasional gifts that are generally regarded as having symbolic or incidental value and that exclude any influence on a decision in relation to the Bidding Process".



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see also
Fifa forced to clarify gift rules
30 Oct 09 |  Football
2018 bid gives handbags as gifts
23 Oct 09 |  Football
England 2018 ambassadors unveiled
22 Oct 09 |  Football
England 'must improve 2018 bid'
07 Oct 09 |  Football
Rivals unite for World Cup bid
23 Jul 09 |  Merseyside
2018 bid chief calls for humility
18 May 09 |  Football
Triesman calls for World Cup bid support
18 May 09 |  Internationals


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