A former FIFA vice president has said he will prove a link between world football’s governing body and the 2010 general election in Trinidad and Tobago. Jack Warner, who made his remarks during a paid-for party political address, also claimed he has evidence linking embattled President Sepp Blatter to the scandal. “I will no longer keep secrets for them who actively seek to destroy the country,” he said.
During the address, Warner, who is one of 14 people indicted on charges of racketeering, fraud and money laundering, said: “I reasonably actually fear for my life.” He added: “I apologise for not disclosing my knowledge of these events before.” He told the audience at the rally in Trinidad he had compiled “reams” of documents that would be passed on to his lawyers. “Not even death will stop the avalanche that is coming,” added Warner, who denies any wrongdoing.
“The die is cast. There can be no turning back. Let the chips fall where they fall.” The revelations come just a few hours after it was revealed former FIFA executive Chuck Blazer admitted taking a bribe to back South Africa’s bid to host the 2010 World Cup. He admitted to a catalogue of corruption in a guilty plea to a US federal judge, and incriminated other top officials in his secret 2013 evidence, which has just been released.
The 70-year-old has been a key informant for the FBI’s bribery investigation into FIFA, which has been extended to look into the awarding of the World Cup to Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022. Russia and Qatar have denied any wrongdoing over their bids, which were not the subject of the charges announced by US prosecutors last week. David Beckham has described the FIFA corruption scandal as “despicable, unacceptable and awful”.
The former England captain said he was left with a “sick feeling” after being misled by FIFA executive committee members who pledged their support for the Football Association’s bid to host the 2018 tournament. The scandal claimed its biggest scalp on Tuesday when Mr Blatter announced he would resign – just days after he was re-elected to serve a fifth term. The 79-year-old, who has been the head of FIFA for 17 years, is reportedly being investigated by US authorities probing the allegations.
He denies any wrongdoing.