• Football

Warner hits back at bribery claims

ESPN staff
May 30, 2011 « UFC 133: Evans v Ortiz II - Official fight card | Chartbeat test »

Jack Warner has hit back at bribery and corruption claims in the wake of his recent temporary suspension from the FIFA ExCo along with Mohamed Bin Hammam.

In a statement issued on Monday, Warner said that Sepp Blatter had been involved in giving a US$1 million gift to his confederation CONCACAF.

Warner said: "I denied the allegations that I made statements at the CFU [Caribbean Football Union] meeting about gifts being given by Mr Bin Hammam.

"I also indicated that at the Miami CONCACAF Congress on May 3 Mr Blatter made a gift of one million USD to CONCACAF to spend as it deems fit.

"This annoyed [UEFA] President Michel Platini who was present and he approached Secretary General Jerome Valcke complaining that Mr Blatter had no permission from the Finance Committee to make this gift to which Jerome replied that he will find the money for Mr Blatter.

"I also indicated at the CFU meeting held in Trinidad on May 10 which was requested by Mr Bin Hammam, FIFA through Mr Blatter organised gifts of laptops and projectors to all members of the Caribbean and no objections have been made today of this to date."

Warner says he has written complaints from 13 federations to verify his claims.

The Carribean football boss also revealed an email from Valcke alleging that Qatari Bin Hammam had "bought" the 2022 World Cup bid for his country. The AFC chief has withdrawn as a candidate from this week's FIFA presidential elections after being suspended alongside Warner.

"I wrote Valcke telling him, among other things, that the outcome of the elections may cause some fracture in the Arab world which we can ill-afford now and that I will like to ask Bin Hammam to withdraw from the race," said Warner.

"To which Jerome replied to me and I quote: 'For MBH, I never understood why he was running. If really he thought he had a chance or just being an extreme way to express how much he does not like anymore JSB [Blatter]. Or he thought you can buy FIFA as they bought the WC'."

Warner said the allegations against he and Bin Hammam formed part of a conspiracy. He said: "The complaints made in this matter are politically motivated against Mr Bin Hammam and me and are designed, among other things, to cause serious prejudice and damage to both Mr Bin Hammam and myself at one of the most critical times for the FIFA."

Bin Hammam insisted that he should not have been suspended and claimed Valcke had influenced the supposedly independent ethics committee.

He said: "The ethics committee in its meeting today did not find this evidence sufficient to convict me. Consequently, I should have been given the benefit of doubt but instead, I have been banned from all football activities.

"I have been given the impression that the ethics committee is absolutely an independent committee, but in the press conference we have seen today, the General Secretary made clear that he is the one who has the influence in this Committee."

With Bin Hammam pulling out of the race, the presidential elections are set to go ahead on Wednesday with incumbent Blatter the only candidate.

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