October 18, 2011
Few FIFA Executives have been less popular than Sepp Blatter, but Jack Warner certainly gave the dopey old Swiss a run for his (allegedly ill-gotten) money over the years. The Trinidad and Tobago businessman's 28-year tenure with football's governing body was marred by corruption scandals involving black market tickets, suspicious World Cup bids, unpaid bonuses, requests for personal payments and undiplomatic attacks on member nations ("Nobody in Europe likes England," he once protested).
Since his suspension by the paradoxical body known as the FIFA Ethics Committee in May this year, Warner promised to unleash a "tsunami" of scandal that would expose the kind of practices of which he has been accused himself.
The tsunami of vindication has yet to wash over us, but Warner has written a letter in response to a video that was released last week, in which he appeared to encourage Caribbean officials to accept cash from fellow disgraced former FIFA exec Mohamed Bin Hammam. The letter, published in full by the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian, refutes the video evidence and acts as a chilling precursor for his upcoming exposé. He criticises the religious discrimination and Zionism (wait, what?) within FIFA, and kind of implies that Blatter and his cronies are a little racist:
In my exposé, I will discuss the litany of broken promises made to me by Blatter who, instead of trying to include a larger number of persons of colour and other minorities within the administration of the FIFA, sought instead to placate me by assigning me to increasing numbers of FIFA committees and appointments. I will talk about the racism that is within FIFA. I will talk about the levels of religious discrimination which I sought to correct. I will talk about the Zionism, which probably is the most important reason why this acrid attack on Bin Hammam and me was mounted. These are just some of the issues of which I will speak as it relates to the FIFA.
Yup, that's right — the body who awarded Qatar and Russia World Cups is guilty of Zionism. Warner continues his attack on the FIFA Prez, by revealing his repeated attempts to discover his closely-guarded remuneration package:
I will also tell you about the attempts I have made over the years, in my capacity as Deputy Chairman of FIFA Finance Committee, to find out the salary of Sepp Blatter, and in spite of serving on the Finance Committee for over 8 years, I have not been able, through the books or even through direct requests to him, to determine the quantum of money given to him for the office of the President of FIFA.
And if if you weren't won over by his use of the word "quantum" (mad vocabulary skills, Jack!) then his promise to ruin the career of CONCACAF General Secretary Chuck Blazer is equally spicy:
The role of Blazer in the CONCACAF will be exposed. His addiction to the stock market and how this impacted on the CONCACAF's finances will all be revealed [...] His wheeling and dealing will stymie the international football community; it is no wonder he has signalled his intentions to leave his CONCACAF post.
Warner clearly has plenty of dirt on his former FIFA cohorts, and he has technically yet to be found guilty of misconduct — he resigned from FIFA before the ethics committee had the chance to properly bust him. A few officials will certainly be quaking in their gifted-by-footballing-body boots, but Warner's ungracious exit from international football and slightly mental accusations of Zionism will surely discredit his claims.