LONDON, Deb 17 (Reuters) - FIFA vice-president Jack Warner could be expelled from world soccer's governing body after a committee found he had violated its code of ethics on tickets for the 2006 World Cup.
Warner is special adviser to the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation. Trinidad have qualified for the World Cup for the first time.
Warner invited FIFA to investigate his relationship with Simpaul Travel Service after the Trinidad and Tobago Express newspaper alleged Trinidad's allocation of tickets to the World Cup finals in Germany would be handled solely by the company.
'The (ethics) committee concluded that because of his involvement with Simpaul Travel Service in Port-of-Spain, FIFA vice-president Jack A. Warner has a conflict of interest with regard to ticketing for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and as a result, he has violated FIFA's Code of Ethics,' a FIFA statement said.
Warner has been one of president Sepp Blatter's closest allies since his appointment to FIFA's executive in 1983. His case will be dealt with by FIFA's executive committee on Mar. 16-17.
The newspaper alleged that unlike other countries where tickets would be made available on a match-by-match basis, Trinidad's allocation would have to be bought as part of a three-match plus accommodation package organised by Simpaul.
Warner, 63, could become the first FIFA vice-president to be expelled if the executive committee deems he has failed to meet the organisation's ethical principles.
Section three of the FIFA Code of Ethics governing 'Eligibility for and removal from office' states: 'Only persons with the highest ethical principles... may serve as an Official or a member of a body.
'Anyone who does not fulfill or ceases to fulfil these conditions shall be deemed ineligible to serve as an Official or a member of a body and, if already in office, shall be relieved of that position.
'The same applies to persons convicted of an offence that calls into question their ability to discharge their duties.
'Prior to being elected or appointed as an Official or a member of a body, all persons must automatically declare any interests they have that may interfere with their duties.'
Trinidad have been drawn with England, Sweden and Paraguay in Group B.