Suspended FIFA vice-president Jack Warner has promised to release an email he sent to the organisation’s president Sepp Blatter after the controversial meeting of Caribbean soccer chiefs at the centre of the sport’s bribery allegations
Trinidadian Warner organised a meeting of the Caribbean Football Union with then FIFA presidential candidate Mohammed Bin Hammam which became the subject of the cash-for-votes scandal which has rocked soccer’s governing body.
Both Warner and Qatari Bin Hammam have been suspended from all football activities pending a full inquiry from FIFA’s Ethics Committee in Zurich.
Warner, who on his return to Port of Spain on Thursday night was greeted by hundreds of supporters including local political figures, said he would read out the email at a public event at his political constituency on Sunday.
“When you come on Sunday…I will read for all of you the email I sent to Mr Blatter immediately following the meeting in Port of Spain. The email I sent to Mr Blatter is crystal clear and it tells you what happened at the meeting and of course what transpired,” Warner told reporters.
“That email went to FIFA, has never been made public and Sunday it will be,” Warner added.
Warner, who is Transport Minister in Trinidad & Tobago, wore a garland of flowers around his neck that he had been given by cheering supporters at the airport.
The 68-year-old has lost control, for the moment, of the CONCACAF confederation of soccer in North and Central America and the Caribbean, after his suspension, but he said he had done nothing wrong.
“This thing is not so much against Jack Warner. This is a matter against the Caribbean.
“What they have done is to accuse the entire Caribbean of being dishonest, what they have done is to tell the entire Caribbean that they are capable of being bribed, what they have done has affected Caribbean integration in football in the Caribbean. So it’s not Jack Warner alone, it’s bigger than Jack Warner.
“I spent 20 years building that and nobody, nobody will come overnight and try to disintegrate the Caribbean and I remain steadfast that Caribbean integration must remain intact,” he said.
Warner rejected calls by the opposition party and one of the key partners in the coalition government for him to step down from his ministerial position pending the outcome of the investigation into the bribery allegations made against him.
“I would be the first to step down if I believe I should. I don’t think it is the correct thing to do at this stage. It is premature,” he said.