PORT OF SPAIN: In the furore before FIFA Congress at the end of May, the then CONCACAF president Jack Warner warned that he would an unleash a “tsunami” which would wash away president Sepp Blatter and shake the world federation to its foundations writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
In the event his tsunami proved a small, if irritating ripple on world football’s weaters. Now, however, just as Blatter is about to present his proposals to reform FIFA’s governance, so Warner has started to speak out again.
His targets include, most notably, Blatter but he has alleged “Zionist” and racist attitudes behind what he perceives as FIFA’s Eurocentric command strategy.
Warner walked away from his CONCACAF and Caribbean Football Union leadership roles and from his vice-presidency of FIFA rather than defend himself against bribery allegations concerning the infamous CFU conference which he organised in May for presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam.
Over the past three weeks 13 further Caribbean officials have been sanctioned by FIFA’s Ethics Committee over events in May.
But all this, Warner has told the Trinidad & Tobago Guardian in a letter, should be seen as retaliation “for standing up to FIFA president Sepp Blatter.”
Warner broke his cover after internet publication last week of a what appeared to be a damning video recording of his “gifts” address to CFU delegates.
His letter recounted the support he and Bin Hammam had provided for Blatter in the 1998 and 2002 FIFA presidential elections and how he and Bin Hammam had asked Blatter to change the image of the FIFA.
Warner says: “I will reveal the circumstances under which I told Blatter that blackness in football must not be only on the field of play but also on the field of the FIFA administration . . . I will talk about the Zionism, which probably is the most important reason why this acrid attack on Bin Hammam and me was mounted.”
He says he will also talk about attempts he made to find out the salary of Blatter.
Warner says: “In spite of serving on the Finance Committee for over eight years, I was never able to determine the quantum of money given to him for the office of the president.”
He rails against a “conspiracy” against the CFU by its own members, the role of general-secretary Chuck Blazer and the “vindictiveness” by FIFA against him.
“The FIFA has tried to muzzle me with threats of a worldwide suspension,” says Warner. They have said that they will close down the FIFA Development Office in Trinidad by year end. They have advised that they will terminate my son’s 2012 contract at the end of this year. They have retaken the World Cup TV Rights, a matter for which they have not heard the last.
“They have refused to give me any of my 29-year pension. They continue to do such things like revealing a video in the hope that they can embarrass me to lie down on my belly. Never, I repeat, never, regardless of the consequences.”
Warner says the real “gifts” that Blatter gave to secure his two elections will turn stomachs inside out.
Reviewing FIFA history, he alleges a Eurocentric plot to maintain the continent’s power with only one of the eight FIFA presidents – Brazil’s Joao Havelange – having been non-European.
Warner asks: “Is it that people of colour cannot administer football? Or is it that only Europeans possess the skill to do so? Is this why [Michel] Platini is being groomed as heir apparent?”
He claims that, before the last FIFA election, he assed Blatter had 90 votes guaranteed and Bin Hammam had 85. Thus the 35 votes of CONCACAF would have been decisive.