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Warner: No one told me; FIFA claim police raid “good” for business

Chaguanas West MP and ex-FIFA vice president Jack Warner struck a typically defiant figure this morning as he was interviewed on the United States Department of Justice’s declared intention to have him extradited to face racketeering charges.

Photo: Ex-FIFA vice president Jack Warner delivers water to Haiti. Haitian football officials claimed Warner failed to relay millions in aid money to the country in the wake of a devastating earthquake. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: Ex-FIFA vice president Jack Warner delivers water to Haiti.
Haitian football officials claimed Warner failed to relay millions in aid money to the country in the wake of a devastating earthquake.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

The Department of Justice, in a published statement, named Warner among 13 officials indicted for “various criminal activities, including fraud, bribery and money laundering.”

The United States agency alleged that Warner and his co-conspirators received “well over US$150 million in bribes and kickbacks” between 1991 and the present.

Warner’s sons, Daryan Warner and Darryl Warner, were revealed to have pleaded guilty to three and two counts of fraud respectively in late 2013.

Warner is yet to be detained, though, and he told Power 102FM that he was “not worried” about news of an extradition request by United States Attorney General Loretta E Lynch.

“I have not been told or advised or questioned on any matter,” Warner told the local radio station. “I’ve heard what you have heard…”

Photo: President Barack Obama (left) hosts FIFA president Sepp Blatter (centre) and then vice-president Jack Warner during the United States' ill-fated 2022 World Cup bid.
Photo: United States President Barack Obama (left) hosts FIFA president Sepp Blatter (centre) and then vice-president Jack Warner during the United States’ ill-fated 2022 World Cup bid.

Meanwhile in Zurich, FIFA’s Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Walter De Gregorio, told a press conference the early morning raid that saw several football officials arrested by Switzerland law officials was “good for the (FIFA) reform process.”

“FIFA welcomes the process although the (timing) may not be the best and FIFA cooperates fully,” said De Gregorio. “We are very happy (about) what is happening right now… It is good for the (FIFA) reform process.”

De Gregorio insisted that FIFA initiated the legal action by handing over files to the Swiss Attorney General on 18 November 2014. He did not state clearly whether FIFA was compelled to hand over the referenced documents.

However, he insisted that president Sepp Blatter had no reason to step down and the FIFA congress and Friday’s presidential election will go on as scheduled.

The United States Department of Justice confirmed that current CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb was indicted along with fellow FIFA executive committee member Nicolas Leoz and Eugenio Figueredo and other FIFA officials Eduardo Li, Julio Rocha, Costas Takkas, Rafael Esquivel and Jose Maria Marin.

Photo: Brazil president Dilma Rousseff (left) and FIFA president Sepp Blatter. (Courtesy Fabrice Coffrini/ AFP)
Photo: Brazil president Dilma Rousseff (left) and FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
(Copyright Fabrice Coffrini/ AFP)

“The damaged party is all of us (in FIFA),” said De Gregorio. “The (FIFA) president is not involved. So how can you say he has to step down?

“He is the president and, if the 209 member associations re-elect him, then he is the president for the next four years.”

The FIFA official batted away suggestions that the governing body might be forced to rethink the destination of the next two World Cup tournaments, due to the likelihood that the bidding campaign was tainted by corruption.

“The World Cups in 2018 and 2022 will be played in Russia and Qatar,” he said. “What do you want from us? to speculate about what will happen?

“This is what I can tell you; not more, not less.”

De Gregorio insisted that Blatter had no fear of flying through United States airspace and claimed he would attend the Canada 2015 Women’s World Cup, which kicks off on June 6.

However, he admitted that FIFA was caught by surprise at the morning raid in Zurich.

Photo: CONCACAF president Jeff Webb (right) has a word with FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
Photo: CONCACAF president Jeff Webb (right) has a word with FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

“We are as surprised as you guys are,” said De Gregorio. “The president is focused on the Congress. The stress factor is a little bit higher today than it was yesterday but he is relaxed because he knows he is not involved…

“For us in FIFA, this is good. It confirms that we are on the right track. It hurts, it is not easy but it is good.”

In Trinidad, Warner also put on a composed facade in an interview with Power 102FM.

After their chat, the radio DJ invited callers to say whether they felt Warner would end up in a US prison. Several people said ‘no.’

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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48 comments

  1. Finally!!!! After all these years they finally got Jack Warner. He was a thief back in the 70’s when I played. I was there when some former national players complained about getting “chicken ‘n’ chips & a carib beer” instead of the small pittance that was promised after the game.
    If jack didn’t like you, you had no chance of playing in Trinidad and getting recognized by a foreign scout.
    Your only choices were to “pay to play” at Alvin Corneal Coaching School…again if ALvin & Sons liked you, you got in..else no university scholarship.
    I hope he gets at least 10years or more for the harm he has done to soccer development in TnT and the irreparable damage inflicted on the CONCACAF brand

  2. Heard of the hefty sum of the bribe which was supposedly paid

  3. New precedence being set!!!!! Now NO politician is above the law

  4. The sentence may have been 150 years but very few people actually serve their entire sentence Lasana.

  5. …20 years was quoted by the US Ag.

  6. And not only is Webb the guy he handpicked as CONCACAF president. He was also a vice-president of his finance committee.
    Sepp is as hilarious as ever.

  7. Massive fraud while I run the organisation but it has nothing to do with me and my election campaign. Blatter has the biggest balls to make those statements.

  8. At least some saps in the ILP have probably saved their deposits.

  9. And so came an end of the days of The Hardest Wukking MP!

    What will become now of Chagaunas West?

  10. Another investigation has been opened in respect to the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup!

  11. Well, hopefully the millions he spends fighting will stay in the economy. Those lawyers better take cash upfront. 😉

  12. He can frustrate for a long time Lasana.

  13. They knowingly received ill gotten gains including during the 18-18 tie when it is alleged he paid their salaries

  14. It is time they indict Kamla and dem too. They knowingly accepted the foul returns of illicit acts for political gain!

  15. He might fight Kendall Tull. But he won’t win.

  16. A plea bargain system is a hell of a thing. A former minster of national security of a key transhipment point in the drug trade may have something to bargain with.

  17. The party now start!! Very interesting times ahead!! Earlier in the month i warned the wired family about about the fifa elections as well as the due ttfa elections!!

  18. Got some calls. BBC was one. Nicole Philip Greene did you catch the U.S. Attorney General’s press conference?
    This ent Ish and Steve. It is as if the U.S. is going to war.
    End of the road for Jack…
    That ent Trinidad. How many years did Bernie Madoff get?
    Some Concacaf officials are going away for a long time. And an elderly gentleman might not make it back.

  19. Lol. Good point Naette Yoko Lee

  20. PLUS we are relying on Garvin Nicholas to practice law…..

  21. “This is the World Cup of Fraud – we are issuing FIFA a red card” IRS official in the US.

  22. It would be amazing to me if Jack Warner is arrested and extradited to the USA while Ish’s and Steve’s extradition papers to the USA sit in a T&T judge’s desk.

  23. To save time and money,the population can’t beg the FBI to scramble everybody who are persons of interest to the U.S or even Greenland ?

  24. CNC3 Television
    3 mins ·

    BREAKING NEWS

    Attorney General Garvin Nicholas confirms extradition process has begun after he met with US officials this morning. The AG says the matter will go to court

  25. Taking bets that there will be no immediate extradition, if at all. Any takers?

  26. I think ultimately he will as well. But as you say, he knows how to play the system. More than that he understands people, and he knows how to use that knowledge to play the system. And there are a lot of elements in motion here. The potential fallout isn’t only for him.

  27. Kenneth Ransome and the same thing will happen for uncle Jack he ain’t going any where any time soon. Them really good yes.

  28. He is a better bluffer than anything else Nicole Philip Greene. I’ve seen him make loads of mistakes over the years.
    He knows how to play the system and feign power. I think local lawyers will bleed him dry as he tries to fight off extradition… And I think he will lose. Eventually.

  29. It’s just like the Canadian company SNC Lavlin. If your name is in the mix for corruption or fraud and you’re working elsewhere, yeah they can come for yuh tail

  30. Chandra be careful they might accuse you of saying Sanko breastfeeding there now eh ok

  31. They hope that by going after his subordinates they will turn state’s evidence against him.

  32. I think Kamla will hang him out to dry. He gone long time. He is not in Kamla’s clique like Ish and Steve whose extradition papers have been held up in T&T judicial system…

  33. Someone please explain to me how everybody and their pet dog in FIFA past and present got called for corruption by the US except Blatter? What’s even worst is that Blatter is going up for re-election after being in charge of FIFA for the past 5000 years oblivious to what’s happening around him.Please explain.

  34. Kamla’s go to man. I remember when she ignored Sanko’s cries. Now the same Sanko nestled in her breasts.

  35. I’m looking forward to how he will play this. Say what you want but one thing Jack Warner is not, is a fool.

  36. End of story? We shall see. We know they all blasted guilty. I hope they all get jail time. This is not trini nah… DOJ is no joke.

  37. All FIFA has to do is attack the credibility of the FBI, then hire it’s own American lawyers to vindicate itself.

    End of story!

  38. Am I hearing Dj Kams playing her big song “Hit the road Jack”……lol

  39. All FIFA has to do is attack the credibility of the FBI, then hire it’s own American lawyers to vindicate itself.

    End of story!

  40. LOOK ALLUH ASK YOUR MUDDER JACK GO TELL THEM LOL

  41. Hehe. Wonder if he also didn’t know his sons have been convicted and are to be sentenced?