Suspended FIFA executive Jack Warner on Sunday reneged on a pledge to reveal details of an email exchange with President Sepp Blatter, which he had previously said would shed light on an ongoing bribery probe.
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At a Sunday rally that drew a few thousand supporters in the central Trinidadian town of Felicity, Warner said he decided not to disclose the contents of the email because ”the best legal advice received at home and abroad has suggested that I do not do so at this time.”
Caribbean football leaders are alleged to have been paid $40,000 each to back Mohamed bin Hammam’s presidential bid during a visit to Warner’s native Trinidad. Warner, who is also a powerful government minister, and bin Hammam were suspended pending a full investigation. Blatter was re-elected unopposed.
When Warner returned to Trinidad and Tobago late Thursday, he pledged to continue hitting FIFA with the ”football tsunami” he promised a week earlier. He has previously said ”the contents of the email are crystal clear as to what transpired.”
Warner has already published private correspondence to embarrass FIFA, where he is a 28 year-veteran of its executive committee.
On Sunday, he told supporters that he is innocent of any allegations of wrongdoing, saying ”nobody has accused me and can accuse me of taking any money.”
Referring to Bin Hammam, he said: ”My friend came here to talk to some people, he spoke to them and then he left. The rest is now history and let the facts come out.”
Warner also blasted critics who have called for Trinidad Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to fire Warner from his government position as minister of works and transport before the FIFA investigation is done.
Persad-Bissessar has pledged to stand by Warner unless there is proof of wrongdoing.
FIFA has hired former FBI director Louis Freeh’s investigations agency to gather evidence following FIFA executive Chuck Blazer’s allegations that Warner and Bin Hammam offered $40,000 bribes to Caribbean voters.
Bin Hammam withdrew his presidential candidacy hours before FIFA’s ethics panel provisionally suspended him and Warner pending the full hearing.
They both deny arranging bribes, and Bin Hammam alleged that supporters of Blatter conspired to remove him from the election contest. Blatter was cleared by the ethics panel of turning a blind eye to intended corruption.