May 29 2011
Blatter faces allegations that he ignored the alleged corruption attempts in Trinidad after bin Hammam succeeded in persuading Fifa to investigate its own president.
Geneva - Fifa vice president Jack Warner has predicted that “a football tsunami” that would shock the world was about to hit the governing body, as he prepared to face a bribery hearing alongside presidential candidates Sepp Blatter and Mohamed bin Hammam.
Speaking in his native Trinidad, Warner told the local media before flying off to Switzerland to face Fifa’s ethics committee in Zurich, that he was not guilty of “a single iota of wrongdoing”.
Fifa vice president Jack Warner
Mohamed bin Hammam
Warner, a 28-year veteran of Fifa’s executive committee, and Qatari challenger bin Hammam are accused of offering bribes to up to 25 Caribbean voters on a campaign visit. Bin Hammam has suggested it’s a conspiracy to remove him from the election contest.
Blatter faces allegations that he ignored the alleged corruption attempts in Trinidad after bin Hammam succeeded in persuading Fifa to investigate its own president. Fifa’s ethics code imposes a duty of disclosure on officials to report corruption.
Blatter was formally placed under suspicion only on Friday.
Warner, long recognised as a key Fifa power broker and who presides over the North, Central American and Caribbean (Concacaf) regional body, promised he would publish his intended statement to the ethics panel and “all of the supporting documents” backing his case.
Caribbean Football Union members who have votes in the Fifa election were allegedly offered cash bribes at the May 10-11 conference in Trinidad, where Warner is a government minister. Delegates were allegedly offered $40 000 (R277 000) in cash for “development projects”
Bin Hammam denies vote-buying.
Fifa’s case against Bin Hammam and Warner is based on evidence supplied by Chuck Blazer, their executive committee colleague and Warner’s longtime No 2 at Concacaf.
In confirming Blatter’s summons, Fifa said the evidence file included Warner’s comment that his president “would have had no issue” with cash payments to delegates.
Two Caribbean Football Union staffers from Trinidad, Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester, have also been summoned to the Fifa ethics hearing.