Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Fifa vice president Jack Warner vows to shake game to its core

The outcome of the Fifa ethics committee hearing in Zurich today could inflict further damage on football's governing body.

The Fifa vice president yesterday warned that a "football tsunami" will hit the governing body this week, as he prepares to face a bribery hearing today alongside presidential candidates Sepp Blatter and Mohamed bin Hammam.

Jack Warner, a 28-year veteran of Fifa's executive committee, and challenger bin Hammam, of Qatar, are accused of offering bribes to up to 25 Caribbean voters on a campaign visit.

Bin Hammam has suggested the charges are part of a conspiracy to remove him from the election contest.

Blatter will appear at a Fifa ethics committee hearing in Zurich today facing allegations that he ignored the alleged corruption attempts in Trinidad.

Warner has promised he will publish his intended statement to the ethics panel and "all of the supporting documents" backing his case.

"The time has come when I must stop playing dead," Warner said before flying from his native Trinidad and Tobago to Switzerland.

"In the next couple days, you will see a football tsunami that will hit Fifa and the world that will shock you."

Warner also said he is not guilty of "a single iota of wrongdoing". His comments were reported by several newspapers in Trinidad.

The latest corruption scandal, which involves so many high-profile figures in the sport's world governing body, has led to calls for Wednesday's presidential vote to be cancelled.

Michel Platini, the Uefa president, said there is "no possibility" he will enter the Fifa presidential race

"I have just been voted in for four years at Uefa and there is just no possibility [of going to Fifa]," Platini told BBC Sport.

"If there is an election then a new president will be elected for four years. If there is no election then it will be complicated."

Blatter skipped his intended visit to yesterday's Champions League final in London to prepare his defence. He was formally placed under suspicion on Friday.

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, long recognised as a key Fifa power broker, faces the most serious fight of his football career. He is also president of Concacaf, the regional governing body for North, Central American and Caribbean football.

Caribbean Football Union members who have votes in the Fifa election were allegedly offered cash bribes at the May 10-11 conference in Trinidad, where Warner is a government minister. Delegates were allegedly offered U$40,000 (Dh146,922) in cash for "development projects."

Bin Hammam has acknowledged paying for their travel and accommodation expenses, and conference costs, but denies vote-buying.

Fifa charged bin Hammam and Warner based on evidence supplied by Chuck Blazer, their executive committee colleague and Warner's longtime No 2 at Concacaf.

In confirming Blatter's summons, Fifa said the evidence file included Warner apparently commenting that his president "would have had no issue" with cash payments to delegates.

Warner dismissed suggestions that the file compiled by John Collins, a former United States federal prosecutor who is now a member of Fifa's legal committee, could end his career within football's ruling body.

"Why should [I] be hanged now and by whom? The American Chuck Blazer? His American lawyer John Collins? Give me a break, guys," Warner told reporters at Trinidad's parliament.

"I will hold my head high to the very end because I am not guilty of a single iota of wrongdoing. Que sera, sera. I am not remotely bothered."

Warner, 68, 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."

Two Caribbean Football Union staffers from Trinidad, Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester, have also been summoned to the Fifa ethics hearing.

* Agencies

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 The seventh edition of the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament was kicking off at Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Wednesday with plenty of excitement in store. Ravindranath K / The National

In pictures: IPL 7 kicks off in Abu Dhabi

The first match in the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament, between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders, was held at Zayed Cricket Stadium amid plenty of colour.

 Al Rayyan's Yakubu Ayegbeni, left, tries to escape the attention of Jazira's Khamis Ismail. Karim Jaafar / AFP Photo

Late strike qualifies Al Jazira for last 16 of Asian Champions League

A dramatic late goal gave Al Jazira a 3-2 victory at Al Rayyan of Qatar in the Asian Champions League (ACL) on Wednesday night and it was just enough to push Walter Zenga’s side into the knockout stages.

 Zayed Cricket Stadium had not witnessed so electrcic an atmosphere before Wednesday evening. Pawan Singh / The National

Packed house gathers in Abu Dhabi for Indian Premier League opener

In less than half a day, Zayed Cricket Stadium witnessed the force that is Indian cricket, with the sound drowning out the controversies that have dogged the Twenty20 tournament, writes Osman Samiuddin.

 Lionel Messi of Barcelona looks down after being defeated during the Copa del Rey Final between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona at Estadio Mestalla on April 16, 2014 in Valencia, Spain. David Ramos/Getty Images

Plenty of life still in Barcelona, says Gerardo Martino

Barcelona coach maintained his side can still return to their former glories after they were beaten 2-1 by a Gareth Bale-inspired Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final.

 Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton, left, and Nico Rosberg at the official press conference following qualifying for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 15, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. Mark Thompson/Getty Images

F1: Toto Wolff says Mercedes have all the right ingredients in place

With Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the wheel, Mercedes have so far dominated the first three grands prix going into this weekend’s fourth round in China.

 Sunderland manager Gus Poyet, left, reacts as Manchester City's manager Manuel Pellegrini looks on during their English Premier League football match at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on April 16, 2014. The match ended in a 2-2 draw. AFP PHOTO/Andrew YATES

Poyet says ‘I am sure that Luis Suarez is going to be happy’ after Sunderland draw at Manchester City

Sunderland’s survival chances remain slim because now they face Chelsea away at the weekend but manager Gus Poyet insists they are not trying to benefit Liverpool or his fellow Uruguayan, Luis Suarez.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National