Former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner said on Wednesday he was innocent of any charges relating to a US Justice Department probe into conspiracy and corruption at the heart of football’s world governing body over the last two decades. The Trinidadian’s name was on a list of nine current or former FIFA officials and five business executives who allegedly “abused their positions of trust to acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks,” US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in New York.
Warner, formerly head of the FIFA’s CONCACAF zone, uniting federations from North and Central America as well as the Caribbean, protested his innocence. “My attention has been drawn to certain developments in world football which started several hours ago and is at the present time still ongoing,” he said on his Facebook page.
“It has been reported that a number of FIFA officials have been arrested in Switzerland and that at least one raid conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigators in Miami is being executed… at what I presume to be CONCACAF offices. “My name is being reported by international media as being one of those persons sought in connection with the probe.
“The people of Trinidad and Tobago will know that I quit FIFA and international football more than four years ago and that over the past several years I have recommitted my life to the work of improving the lot of every citizen of every creed and race in this nation. “I have fought fearlessly against all forms of injustice and corruption.
“I have been afforded no due process and I have not even been questioned in this matter. I reiterate that I am innocent of any charges. I have walked away from the politics of world football to immerse myself in the improvement of lives in this country where I shall, God willing, die. “The actions of FIFA no longer concern me.