Accused Warner warns of ‘tsunami’ to come at FIFA

Reuters, Saturday 28 May 2011

FIFA vice-president Jack Warner, who faces an ethics hearing in soccer’s widening bribery scandal on Sunday, has predicted a “football tsunami” is about to strike the sport’s governing body


Warner, who said there was “not a single iota” of wrongdoing on his part, will answer questions at FIFA headquarters along with president Sepp Blatter and the man challenging the incumbent in next week’s election, Mohammed bin Hammam.

“I tell you something, in the next couple days you will see a football tsunami that will hit FIFA and the world that will shock you,” Warner said in comments reported by multiple newspapers in his home country of Trinidad and Tobago.

“The time has come when I must stop playing dead so you’ll see it, it’s coming, trust me you’ll see it by now and Monday.”

Warner, who is the president of CONCACAF, the confederation for North and Central America and the Caribbean, features in a report given to FIFA by Chuck Blazer, his long-term ally.

The American Blazer, a fellow member of FIFA’s executive committee, reported possible violations of its ethics code, potentially involving bribery, at a meeting Bin Hammam and Warner attended along with Caribbean delegates in Port of Spain, Trinidad on May 10 and 11.

Bin Hammam has denied any wrongdoing and said there was growing evidence of a conspiracy to keep him out of the race. Blatter has simply said the facts would speak for themselves.

Warner repeated in his comments made to local media that he had not done anything wrong and sounded unconcerned by Sunday’s meeting.

“Let them go ahead, I have no problem with that,” he said. “But I’ll tell you something, I will hold my head high to the very end because, I repeat here again, I am not guilty of a single iota of wrongdoing.”

The 68-year-old Warner said the “attacks” on him were based on envy.

“I am in FIFA for 29 consecutive years, I was the first black man to have ever been in FIFA at this level,” he said.

“I have come from the smallest country ever to be on the FIFA executive committee. There is no country smaller than Trinidad and Tobago on FIFA’s executive committee. I am wielding more power in FIFA now than sometimes even the president, I must be the envy of others.”

Warner was also dismissive about an email, published in the British media, in which he reportedly asked the English FA to help purchase TV rights to the 2010 World Cup on behalf of Haiti.

“What it says (is) to help Haiti get two big screens to see the World Cup for $1.6 million, that’s the e-mail. Did it say anything about Jack Warner?

“Jack Warner asked to help Haiti to see the World Cup by putting some big screens, what is wrong with that?”

Search Keywords:
Short link: