Warner ‘urged’ officials to accept bribes

Video evidence of ex-FIFA vice-president Jack Warner urging

Caribbean officials to accept cash gifts from Mohamed Bin Hammam

has emerged.

href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/international/8820948/Former-Fifa-vice-president-Jack-Warner-is-caught-on-tape-offering-gifts-of-25000-to-Caribbean-delegates.html"

target="newwin">The recording of a speech made by Warner to

members of the Caribbean Football Association (CFU) on May 11 is

being used as evidence in FIFA ethics committee hearings into

charges against 15 of those officials this week.

The video, which has been posted on www.telegraph.co.uk, shows

Warner telling members they are not obliged to vote for Bin Hammam

in the FIFA presidential election but that he had told the Qatari

to bring cash. Bin Hammam was banned for life in July by FIFA’s

ethics committee but is appealing.

The speech took place in Trinidad a day after cash gifts of

40,000 US dollars each were handed out to the leaders of Caribbean

associations.

Warner says on the video: “When Mohamed Bin Hammam asked to come

to the Caribbean he wanted to bring some silver plaques and wooden

trophies and bunting and so on, and told me to bring for 30 people

would be too much luggage. I told him he did not need to bring

anything but if he wanted to bring anything to bring something

equivalent to the value of the gift that he brought.

“I said to him if you bring cash, I don’t want you to give cash

to anybody, but when you do you can give it to the CFU and the CFU

will give it to his members. Because I don’t want (it) to even

remotely appear that anyone has any obligation to vote for you

because of what gifts you have given them, and he fully accepted

that.”

Warner also says he will return any money if the officials

choose not to keep it.

He adds: “I know there are some people here who believe they are

more pious than thou. If you are pious go to a church friends, but

the fact is that our business is our business.

“If there is anybody here who has a conscience and wishes to

send back the money I am willing to take the money and give it back

to him at any moment.”

There is also an astonishing barrage aimed at UEFA president

Michel Platini, saying a victory for Sepp Blatter over Bin Hammam

would lead to the Frenchman taking over.

Warner says: “We have to ensure Platini is not some automatic

inheritor of FIFA. Because I tell you if that happens FIFA will

become a French province. Forever. The fact is that Platini is

being groomed to succeed Mr Blatter and we don’t know if it is in

our best interests to have a French president, a French general

secretary…but in any event I don’t think it’s in our best

interests to do that.

“I have told him (Blatter) that we who have supported him

faithfully have not benefited from that support. We stood up and

backed him and then he went to embrace his enemies and not his

friends.”

Warner was charged with bribery by FIFA but the investigation

was dropped after he resigned from all football activities in

June.

He continues to be a senior government minister in Trinidad and

Tobago, and last month accused FIFA of “devastating lives” and

damaging football in the Caribbean in an attempt to clean up their

image.

FIFA’s ethics committee are expected to deliver their judgments

on the 15 Caribbean officials on Friday.