Former FIFA vice president Jack Warner refused to comment on the football corruption scandal, as his bodyguards manhandled a Sky News correspondent. The indicted football executive was surrounded by journalists as he left parliament in Port of Spain, Trinidad, where he is an MP. Sky’s David Bowden asked him what had happened to the $10m he allegedly pocketed for helping South Africa win the race to host the 2010 World Cup.
Warner, 72, remained tight-lipped as his security team kept up a chorus of “no comment”. Bowden continued his questions and was pushed and shoved by a thick-set bodyguard.”Can you stop pushing me!” Bowden said, before asking a nearby police officer whether he was “going to stop this man assaulting me?” Bowden then asked Warner: “As a parliamentarian, do you think it’s right that your associates are assaulting me?”
“Move, move, move!” the bodyguards continued as they helped the former president of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) into a waiting car. Warner was arrested at the request of US authorities as part of their investigation into corruption within world football’s governing body. He spent a night in custody and was released on bail, pending a decision in his extradition case, which could take up to a year.
Warner said he fears for his life and has threatened to divulge an “avalanche” of dirty secrets about FIFA and its outgoing president Sepp Blatter. On Friday, he blamed a conspiracy by Trinidadian Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, his one-time ally, for the corruption charges against him. He has also accused the US of conspiring against him because it lost its bid to host the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.
Blatter announced he will step down despite winning a fifth term as president, following a string of arrests as part of the US Department of Justice’s corruption probe.