PORT OF SPAIN: Jack Warner, self-exiled former international football power broker, has announced his intention of sueing Trinidadian journalist Lasana Liburd over his reporting of the ever-expanding web of football financial scandal.
Warner claimed that Liburd – who has been relentless in his investigative work – had “resorted to completely unacceptable defamation and libel” in reporting on funds intended for the Haiti Football Association in the wake of the devastating earthquake in 2010. Warner has retained the services of English QC William McCormick.
According to Warner: “The message (posted by Liburd) was re-tweeted by numbers of equally deranged and malicious persons who never checked Liburd’s claim for its veracity, nor did they research independently whether there was any truth whatsoever in the nasty allegation…
“I shall take advice on which other persons shall be joined to the suit and categorically state that not only did I never misappropriate aid money destined for Haiti but have personally made additional funds available to the 30-plus victims and their families who were buried under the collapsed Haitian Football Association building,
“I am thoroughly disgusted by the level of malice and nastiness some persons resort to and have decided that I can no longer tolerate the continued lies and wrongful allegations permanently levied against me by people who consider themselves to be above the law.
“I am appalled that persons whom I have known to be quality journalists in the past, are now jumping on the ‘destroy Warner’ bandwagon and thoughtlessly, if not senselessly, take any lie for granted that they come across these days and which further maligns and defames me.”
World federation FIFA has stated it sent $250,000 of assistance funds into an account registered to the Trinidad federation. In court last week the TTFF said it had surrended all control of its finances to Warner. The president of the Haiti Football Federation, Yves Jean-Bart, has said the FHF had received only $60,000.
Warner, who walked away from all football last year after being suspended over bribery allegations which he denies, is Trinidad’s Minister of Works.