Former Fifa VP Jack Warner banned for life from football

Jack Warner was the former president of Concacaf and had also sat on the all-powerful Fifa executive committee for 28 years.
Jack Warner was the former president of Concacaf and had also sat on the all-powerful Fifa executive committee for 28 years.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Former Fifa VP Warner thrown out after he is indicted for bribery, money laundering, fraud

ZURICH • Jack Warner, once one of the most powerful men in world football, has been banned for life from all activities related to the sport.

The 72-year-old former Fifa vice-president from Trinidad and Tobago was one of 14 football officials and sports marketing executives indicted in the United States on May 27 on bribery, money laundering and wire fraud charges involving more than US$150 million (S$214 million) in payments.

The Fifa ethics committee said Warner was investigated following an inquiry into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. The executive committee of football's world governing body, of which Warner was a member, had awarded them to Russia and Qatar respectively in 2010.

He was found to have committed "many and various acts of misconduct continuously and repeatedly during his time as an official in different high-ranking and influential positions at Fifa and Concacaf," the committee said yesterday.

"In his positions as a football official, he was a key player in schemes involving the offer, acceptance and receipt of undisclosed and illegal payments, as well as other money-making schemes."

GUILTY AS CHARGED

In his positions as a football official, he was a key player in schemes involving the offer, acceptance and receipt of undisclosed and illegal payments, as well as other money-making schemes.

FIFA'S ETHICS COMMITTEE, in their judgment on former Fifa vice-president, Jack Warner

Warner was found guilty of violating ethics code articles on general rules of conduct, loyalty, duty of disclosure, conflicts of interest, the offering and acceptance of gifts and of failing to collaborate with the ethics committee.

He is the former president of Concacaf, the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, a post he held from 1990 to 2011. He sat on Fifa's all-powerful executive committee for 28 years.

He is currently fighting extradition to the United States.

In 2006, Fifa's executive committee expressed disapproval at Warner's conduct, following an alleged resale of World Cup tickets allotted to him, and said he should be more "prudent" in the future.

He resigned from his posts when he was placed under investigation by the ethics committee in 2011 over a cash-for-votes scandal in the run-up to that year's Fifa presidential election.

Warner is the second Fifa official to be suspended for life after American Chuck Blazer, 70, the one-time powerbroker of North American football, who turned whistleblower for the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The question now is whether the ethics committee will take any action against Fifa president Sepp Blatter and the man who aims to replace him in February's elections, Uefa chief Michel Platini.

Blatter is being investigated for alleged criminal mismanagement, including a two million Swiss francs (S$2.9 million) payment made to Platini. Both have denied any wrongdoing. Platini said the money was declared to Swiss authorities.

But no one has yet explained why a payment for work carried out between 1998 and 2002 was made only in 2011.

Platini said on Monday he had offered to speak to the ethics committee to help resolve any issues relating to the payment.

"I have today written to the Ethics Committee of Fifa to request that I may come forward and provide whatever additional information may be needed in order to clear this matter up," he wrote in in a letter to Uefa's member associations.

"I am aware that these events may harm my image and my reputation and, by consequence, the image of Uefa."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 30, 2015, with the headline 'BANNED FOR LIFE FROM FOOTBALL'. Print Edition | Subscribe