ZURICH: Rebuilding the Caribbean Football Union has achieved what all the FIFA reform proposals and disciplinary measures have failed to do . . . prompted Jack Warner into renewing his verbal attack on world federation president Sepp Blatter writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Warner, who walked away from football rather than face an Ethics Committee hearing into bribery allegations, has spoken out after a two-day conference in Zurich came up with a five-month plan to rescue the CFU after its virtual collapse following the Bin Hammam scandal.
Reports in Trinidad claim Warner – former vice-president of FIFA and former president of CONCACAF and of the CFU – described the world federation as undertaking a “hostile takeover of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) and it must be stopped.”
Warner pointed out that FIFA has no direct executive power over the CFU. However it does have an interest in the financial credibility of the CFU many of whose members have received FIFA development grants.
The CFU accounts, apparently controlled by Warner, remain shrouded in mystery. One unexplained issue is their use to have channelled at least one significant payment from Warner to Chuck Blazer, the FIFA exco member who has just stepped down as general secretary of CONCACAF.
In a seven-page statement, Warner said he would be making further statements next Wednesday and at other unspecified dates.
This contradicted his earlier comments that he would keep quiet until after Mohamed Bin Hammam, former Asian president, had appealed against a football life ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. This will be heard early in the new year.
Warner added: “I am no longer prepared to sit back and watch from the sidelines, while a few men destroy an entire region for their own selfish and self-serving motives.”
Warner, who is the Minister of Works and Infrastructure in the People’s Partnership Government, added: “At this unconstitutional CFU congress, certain decisions were taken by the FIFA president—decisions which the presidents of 26 of the 30 national associations present accepted without even consulting their members who they purported to represent.”
Warner said the leaders from Anguilla, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica and T&T did not support FIFA “and its unethical actions.”
This contradicts the fact that Horace Burrell, president of the Jamaican federation, has been appointed as joint leader of an ad hoc ‘normalisation committee.’
Warner said: “Never in the history of the FIFA has an organisation that is not a member of FIFA been subject to the ‘law’ of FIFA.”
He said the congress failed to discuss issues such as 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; and the termination, by the FIFA, of the contracts of the T&T FIFA Referee Development Officers Ramesh Ramdhan and Merere Gonzales without explanation (and) without reason.
He continued: “In one fell swoop, the Caribbean football leadership has now undone its struggle of some 33 years and has disrespected the entire region.
“The arrogance with which the FIFA continues to ride roughshod over duly elected officials of both the CFU and the Concacaf is not just unethical but plain outright immoral.
“It demonstrates the crass disrespect to the independence and sanctity of the constitutions of both organisations because the 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.
“This type of behaviour must never be allowed to continue without a voice of dissent being raised against such malfeasance.”