National Security Minister and ex-FIFA vice president Jack Warner yesterday claimed FIFA’s inability to raise new evidence against former presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam as personal vindication.
“Because of the false allegations, my family and I were the subjects of much harassment and persecution, which unfortunately continue to this day,” stated Warner, in the Trinidad Guardian. “I sincerely hope that with this announcement, we will finally have some much-deserved relief.”
Warner’s pronouncements may raise an eyebrow for those who remember the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s (CAS) unflattering judgment of the Chaguanas West MP’s behaviour in the bribery scandal.
In short, it is not that CAS questioned whether Warner improperly handed wads of US dollars to Caribbean football delegates; it is that FIFA failed to prove Bin Hammam gave the money to the Trinidadian.
Warner’s jubilant press statement is akin to Machel Montano declaring himself innocent of assault because “Zan” and “Benjai” got off.
FIFA said previously that it would reopen its case against Warner anytime the former CONCACAF president so much as touched a football. And Warner’s interest in football politics was still in evidence, earlier this year, when he bullied the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) into nominating his pal Harold Taylor for the post of Caribbean Football Union (CFU) president.
Yet, despite his show for the local public and lust for football power, Warner will not put his supposed innocence to the test with either CAS or FIFA.
Mr Live Wire thinks Warner’s new-found phobia of airplanes, particularly those that leave Trinidad and Tobago’s territorial waters, would concern even “A-Team” character, “Mr. T.” Why not fly over and congratulate Bin Hammam in person?