I’ll stick with FIFA

In a statement issued by FIFA yesterday, following Warner’s meeting with Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko in Johannesburg, South Africa on Sunday, Warner defended his ability to simultaneously juggle his Cabinet and FIFA jobs. “At this time, I am listening to all that is being said about my international affiliations and I welcome all to critically examine my life,” Warner said.

Noting he has always maintained that he has nothing to hide, Warner declared: “At this time, if my international office can be used to benefit TT, then so be it.”

Warner, who is in South Africa to attend the opening of the 2010 World Cup this Friday, added that he will continue to serve the people of TT no matter what office he holds. In April, Warner declined an invitation from Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to attend a function in his (Warner) honour, citing his involvement in the campaign leading up to the May 24 General Election.

The FIFA statement said Warner, “has cut his trip short to Africa” and will return to TT to attend the opening of Parliament on June 18 and “to fulfill his ministerial duties.” The statement said Warner has already implemented a number of projects aimed at alleviating flooding, traffic congestion and other matters under his portfolio as Works Minister. Of his discussions with Mutko which led to a pledge of assistance from Russia to help develop sport in TT and the wider Caribbean, Warner said he was just “an unexpected facilitator in this process” and will pass the mantle over to new Sports Minister Anil Roberts to continue the dialogue.

Speaking yesterday at his office on Charles Street, Port-of-Spain, Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley said he was drafting the letter for the Integrity Commission and it would be dispatched to the Commission’s offices at the Unit Trust Corporation building later in the day.

Noting that Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said she felt Warner would do “the appropriate thing in all of the circumstances”. Rowley said, “The question is what is the right thing.” Reiterating that the issue was a matter of principle and not personality, Rowley said the issue was simply whether it was right for a person to be a member of the Cabinet while holding a position (paying or non-paying) in a local or foreign organisation.

Stating that a Cabinet minister is “a full time position” and the minister’s salary reflects this, Rowley said the matter was very different with non-Cabinet ministers who are free to seek other forms of employment outside of their parliamentary duties.


"I’ll stick with FIFA"

More in this section