Football: Fifa scandal's Jack Warner says Sepp Blatter brought 'tsunami' on himself

Former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner (left) said Fifa's former president Sepp Blatter's fall from grace was one of his own making.
Former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner (left) said Fifa's former president Sepp Blatter's fall from grace was one of his own making.PHOTOS: AFP/ REUTERS

PORT OF SPAIN (AFP) - Former Fifa president Sepp Blatter opened the door for the corruption scandal that has rocked the global football body with his own "vindictiveness", disgraced Trinidad and Tobago football boss Jack Warner said on Friday (Feb 26).

Warner, banned from football for life and fighting extradition to the United States to face charges of racketeering, money laundering and bribery, appeared at the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain on Friday, and insisted he had no interest in the Fifa presidential election in Switzerland in which Gianni Infantino was elected Blatter's successor.

Warner said he had "paid no attention to the elections," seen as a key step in leading the multi-billion dollar body out of scandal.

"I don't even know who is running," Warner said.

He said Blatter's fall from grace was of his own making and resulted from his "vindictiveness" towards Warner who did not back him in the previous Fifa election.

"I told him it was time to step down, let the younger men run the thing and so on. So he came at me. All of this," he said, gesturing around the court room, "is because of his vindictiveness and spite. But I warned them that the tsunami would come and it is here now."

Warner said Blatter, banned from football for six years as US and Swiss authorities pursue corruption investigations into Fifa and other football federations, had done a lot to bring third world countries into the mainstream of international football and deserved to be recognised for that contribution.

"I am sorry that he has to be remembered in this way where he has been banned for six years," he said.

On Friday the United States government, through attorney Vanessa Gopaul, indicated its intention to be represented at the judicial review of his extradition case before Justice James Aboud.

Warner's lawyers led by senior counsel Fyard Hosein, voiced their objection to the US request to join the legal proceedings, describing it as "oppressive."

Warner's team has indicated its intention to challenge the constitutionality of the extradition treaty between the US and Trinidad and Tobago. Hosein indicated his intention to file a statement from an expert in the US on the treaty.

However he did not agree that this was grounds for the US being allowed to be a party to the judicial review proceedings which they have filed. The judge set Mar 18, 2016 for further hearing of the case.