Former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner addresses a political rally in Tunapuna, Trinidad.
Sean Drakes/CON/LatinContent/Getty Images
Former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner has hit out at the United States after he was charged in a US corruption case that has led to the arrests of more than a dozen international football officials and businessmen.
Warner lashed out at a press conference shortly after his release from jail on $2.5m bail following his arrest in Trinidad.
The 72-year-old left jail by ambulance a day after he was charged and was not able to face questions from reporters who had gathered for several hours outside the jail after he complained of exhaustion.
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But a short while later, Warner appeared wearing a garland of flowers to give a lengthy, defiant speech before a crowd of raucous supporters in the district he represents as an opposition member of Parliament.
Warner said: "The person who did the investigation is American – Michael Garcia.
"The country that bid for the World Cup and failed was America. They are the ones who are angry and we have seen that this has to be some kind of evidential witch hunt, so to speak.
"We all don’t see a link that America believes that it has some divine right to get the World Cup and they don’t believe that a country like Qatar, a small country, a Muslim country, has a right to a World Cup.
"I can’t share that view because I am from a small country like all of you and if we are the smallest country in the world to qualify for a World Cup, why can’t the smallest country in the world, if they can afford it, not host the World Cup?
"Never held before in an Arab country or before in a Muslim country, why? That can’t be right and I make no apology for that at all.
"I make the point that Garcia, the chairman, made some charges against me but never even one day questioned me, not once has he asked me a question."