By Shaun Fuentes
FIFA Vice President Jack Austin Warner on Tuesday denied all allegations made against him by former English FA chairman Lord Triesman.
Warner, shortly after coming out of a meeting with his CONCACAF members during which FIFA Presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam delivered a presentation in Port of Spain, laughed at the questions by reporters regarding the reports that originated in England earlier in the day.
“First of all, I laughed. I laughed like hell,”
Lord Triesman told the select committee, looking into England’s failed 2018 football bid, that Warner asked for money—suggested to be £2.5m—to build an education centre in Central, Trinidad with the cash to be channelled through him, and later £500,000 to buy Haiti’s World Cup TV rights for the earthquake-hit nation, also to go through Warner. Triesman identified Warner and three other Fifa executives—Nicolas Leoz, Ricardo Teixeira and Worawi Makudi for their “improper and unethical” behaviour.
Warner, the President of CONCACAF and also a leading minister in the Trinidad and Tobago Government, holding the position of Minister of Works and Transport, added: “I never asked anybody for anything. When these guys came here, they offered to help. I took them to Longdenville to show them a place in Longdenville where they could put playground for the people of Longdenville. I had a function for them at a Government school. They promised to come back but they never did. That’s all,” he said.
Warner said the timing of the allegations is curious and he expects that there willl be more to come.
“Look out for Jennings. He’ll have his say as well. I think that nobody, honestly, of substance could take those guys seriously. At the end of the day, I can hold my head tall, I could stand up and say to the world I never asked for this,” he said.
Bin Hammam, who’s vying to be Fifa president, defended the organisation. “With allegations, evidence is needed. The evidence is very important. When you come with allegations, bring the evidence and I think you’ll be more credible,” he said “What I think is that Fifa is not corrupted. We are all working within the football arena. We are victims of the prosperity of the game,” said the AFC President.