First it was Jack and then Darryl. Now, Daryan Warner, son of FIFA vice-president Austin Jack Warner, has been awarded a contract to operate concession stands at the FIFA Under-17 World football Championships which begin here on Thursday.
he concession stand deal makes it at least the third contract that the Warner family has secured for the tournament.
The senior Warner has reportedly bought the regional television rights for the tournament from Prism Sports. The tournament will be beamed to 120 countries. The awarding of the TV rights to Warner has prompted the threat of legal action by a Virgin Islands-based company known as CSTN whose owner Selby Browne was involved in negotiations with Prism’s parent company, the Kirch group for the same rights.
Darryl Warner, another son of the vice-president has also been awarded a US$1.9 million contract to build five information centre kiosks for the tournament.
And yesterday, Sandra Bachir, Chief Executive Officer of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the tournament, said on Power102’s Ringside radio programme that Daryan Warner’s Coal Pot restaurant had been awarded sole rights to operate concession stands at the five stadiums involved in the tournament.
“What they decided to do is to award it to one concessionaire, which is the Coal Pot, to manage whether or not there will be additional concession stands for distribution,” Bachir said.
Pressed to reveal who the owners of the Coal Pot were, Bachir replied: “Well the Coal Pot is owned by Daryan Warner.”
Bachir’s explanation for the awarding of a concession contract to one party, was that that there was limited space in the stadia.
“In any case, it would be difficult for you if you had to try to pick people to put in those concessions stands because of the size of the stadiums.”
Asked to comment on the perception that the Warner family seemed to be benefitting greatly from the tournament, Bachir said that it was not a concern and that she was not prepared to pursue the matter further.
“I must tell you that I am not doing anything, and I’ll tell you why. When I look at what is ahead of us, I think that at times, yes we should be concerned about these things. But, we need to grow up and get over these things and look at the broader picture. We spend sometimes too much time dwelling on little things which we cannot change.”
Instead, Bachir noted that the exposure this country will receive from the tournament will be great and that the four new stadia will be invaluable for future generations of sportsmen and women.
As far as planning for the tournament goes, Bachir says that most of the necessary infrastructure is well in place, including accommodation. Among the teams already here are Brazil, Oman and Paraguay. A film crew armed with 21 tonnes of equipment is also present.