PORT OF SPAIN — National Security Minister Jack Warner yesterday said he felt “relieved” and vindicated after the Court of Arbitration for Sport annulled the FIFA-imposed lifetime ban on former FIFA presidential candidate, Mohamed Bin Hammam.
Warner, accompanied by his legal adviser attorney Om Lalla, who is currently a legal member of CAS, spoke on the issue at a media conference at the Ministry of National Security in Temple Court on Abercromby Street, Port of Spain, yesterday.
“I waited a little more than a year for this day and now I feel, not only in a sense relieved, but I feel comforted,” Warner said, adding that a few friends, including Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, never lost faith in him during the difficult time.
Warner said if he had not resigned as FIFA vice president in June last year, he too would have been found not guilty by the CAS.
“But I was not prepared to go through this charade,” Warner said.
Just over a year ago, both Warner and Bin Hammam were suspended from FIFA after reports alleged that several Caribbean Football Union (CFU) associates were offered bribes of US$40,000 during a meeting at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Port of Spain last May.
Warner and Bin Hammam (who had challenged Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency), were accused of giving the bribes to delegates of the Caribbean Football Union.
No action was taken against Warner as he resigned his executive position while a lifetime ban was imposed against Bin Hammam.
“Very early, I said to you all wait and even today I tell you again, more is coming, so wait, guys, wait,” he said.
Warner claimed current FIFA president Sepp Blatter controlled “every rung” of the internal FIFA ladder including the Ethics Committee. He said the only reason he did not stay and fight his case alongside Bin Hammam was because he “could not afford it”.
“I felt, therefore, the best course was to leave FIFA alone. Look, I don’t even want to go close to FIFA anymore. They send magazines, I don’t even read them. I want nothing to do with them,” Warner said.
He said in its 108 years of existence, FIFA has never lost an appeal or disciplinary hearing. (Express)