Warner accuses Caribbean officials of caving in to FIFA

Port of Spain: Former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner has accused Caribbean officials of undoing more than three decades of their struggle for respect by caving in to certain demands handed down to them at their Extraordinary Congress staged in Zurich earlier this week.

Warner, a former Caribbean Football Union (CFU) president, came out swinging at his former colleagues Friday in a media statement, following the announcement that a nine-member committee had been appointed to restore the functions of the CFU to normalcy over the next five months.

A media release from the CFU Thursday said a normalisation committee had been formed and would execute 10 tasks that would help to return the CFU to stability, following the fall-out from the cash-for-votes scandal that tore apart the regional governing body earlier this year.

Warner, one of the principal figures in the scandal, said Caribbean officials should be ashamed to "accept the crumbs of the FIFA President" when in the very recent past they used to "dine at his table as equals".

"The arrogance with which FIFA continues to ride roughshod over duly appointed officials of both the CFU and CONCACAF is not just unethical, but plain outright immoral," said Warner.

"It demonstrates the crass disrespect to the independence and sanctity of the constitutions of both organisations because FIFA imposes on these two organisations its will which is neither recognised by FIFA`s constitution nor the constitutions of the CFU and the CONCACAF."

Warner said: "This clearly is the colonising of the CFU and the CONCACAF at best, and at worst, it represents a hostile takeover of organisations in which it has no locus standi or even a hierarchical relationship."

Warner said the regional officials should have challenged the hierarchy of the sport`s world governing body about a number of outstanding matters which have affected the administration of the game in the last few months.

"What was not discussed and that should have been brought to the table," he said, "were: the status of the FIFA Development Office in the Caribbean and the termination by the FIFA, without reason, of the contracts of all officers of this office; The termination, by FIFA, of the contracts of the Trinidadian FIFA Referee Development Officers Ramesh Ramdhan and Merere Gonzales; again without explanation, without reason.”

"The suspension of the Caribbean`s only female President (from the British Virgin Islands) for 18 months, despite the FIFA President`s claim that the `Future of Football is Feminine; FIFA`s unethical and high-handed behaviour to Barbadian Lisle Austin, the legally-recognised Acting President of CONCACAF.”

"And the arbitrary postponement of the legal and constitutional meeting of the CFU Extraordinary Congress called for by 13 members."

Warner said such interference would have evoked the ire of the World if FIFA had tried a similar thing with UEFA and vowed to continue fighting against behaviour by FIFA which he termed "unethical".

"The response would have been so vociferous [if it was UEFA] that even attempts by the FIFA to apologise would have been drowned out," he said.

He added: "FIFA must never be allowed to continue without a voice of dissent being raised... The time has come to break the silence. One must no longer accept silence as affirming the wrong being perpetuated by the FIFA."

Warner walked away from all of his positions in disgrace, after FIFA launched an ethics investigation against him last May.

This followed a meeting in his native Trinidad and Tobago, where Warner was captured on video apparently urging fellow CFU officials to accept cash gifts of USD 40,000 to vote for Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar rather than incumbent Sepp Blatter in the FIFA presidential elections staged last June.

Bin Hammam, too, faced an ethics investigation and was banned for life.


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