Jack: I’ll quit FIFA for TT

However, Warner who is the Works and Transport Minister and MP for Chaguanas West, yesterday showed defiance in the face of the bribery allegations saying the football body will be hit by “a football tsunami” the likes of which neither FIFA nor the world has ever seen before.

Warner made these statements following the adjournment of the House of Representatives yesterday, 48 hours before he appears before FIFA’s ethics committee in Zurich, Switzerland to answer a series of bribery allegations made against him.

Speaking at the Red House, Warner said he was not daunted by the allegations which have been made against him by CONCACAF general secretary Chuck Blazer or by the United Kingdom’s Football Association former chairman Lord Triesman on two separate issues.

“I have faced bigger issues and overcame them. In 2006, they said I sold World Cup tickets and so on but I will tell you something, in the next couple days, you will see a football tsunami that will hit FIFA and the world that will shock you. The time has come when I must stop playing dead. You will see it, it is coming by now and Monday,” he said.

Asked if he was prepared to quit FIFA if he had to choose between serving that organisation and remaining a minister and MP, Warner said, “If that’s what it comes to, so be it. You must never get too attached to anything, it colours your judgement and therefore whatever happens, happens. Que sera, sera. I am not remotely bothered.”

“I know when I propose to leave FIFA, I’ll tell you this, I don’t propose to leave on a walking stick and I don’t propose to be there when I am 75. So that’s the end of the story. I will hold my head high to the very end because I am not guilty of a single iota of wrongdoing. You don’t retire when you are perceived to be under intense pressure.”

Warner promised to provide the media today with the full statement which he will present to the FIFA ethics committee tomorrow. “Tomorrow (Saturday) I will release my full statement to the committee as well as (FIFA) vice-president Mohamed Bin Hammam. I will release all of the supporting documents. I will only do it tomorrow (Saturday) because I don’t want to do it today to prejudice the matter,” Warner added. Warner said all of these allegations against him were due to the fact that Bin Hammam is challenging incumbent FIFA president Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency. “FIFA politics is far, far bigger than the politics that you have seen here. It makes our politics here look like child’s play. This is an election time in FIFA. It happens every four years, especially where there is a contender,” Warner declared.

Warner said while he did not know what the final outcome of this matter will be, the one thing he was dead certain about, “My jack won’t be hanged. I have lived three scores and my jack has not been hanged as yet. Why should it be hanged now and by whom? The American Chuck Blazer? His American lawyer John Collins? Give me a break guys,” he scoffed.

Warner said he was aware of reports that Blatter is also supposed to appear before the FIFA ethics committee tomorrow but has not been following that matter in detail. Warner said if those reports were true, “it means that FIFA does not discriminate.”

Asked about his relationship with Blatter, Warner said, “I do not believe that I should rubber stamp Mr Blatter.” Warner left for Zurich this morning at half past eight and returns home next Thursday at 10.35 pm. (SEE PAGE 42A)


"Jack: I’ll quit FIFA for TT"

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