Fifa slaps Warner with lifetime ban from football

Fifa vice-president Jack Warner, 72, is one of the key defendants in a US investigation into world football that has rocked its governing body.

The former Caribbean federation president “was found to have committed many and various acts of misconduct continuously and repeatedly during his time as an official in different high-ranking and influential positions at Fifa and Concacaf [North and Central American Federation],” said the Ethics Committee statement.

Warner is the second Fifa official to be suspended for life after American Chuck Blazer, 70, the one-time powerbroker of North American football who turned whistleblower for the FBI.

Warner and Blazer were executive committee members of world football’s governing body which has been shaken by a corruption scandal. Even Fifa president Sepp Blatter now faces a Swiss criminal investigation for mismanagement.

The 72-year-old Warner’s ban covers all football activity at both a national and international level and is effective from September 25.

“In his positions as a football official, he was a key player in schemes involving the offer, acceptance, and receipt of undisclosed and illegal payments, as well as other money-making schemes,” added the statement.

Warner is also fighting extradition from his homeland in Trinidad and Tobago to the United States to face 12 charges of wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering related to the ongoing Fifa corruption scandal.

He faces a hearing in his homeland in December.

US authorities, who have charged 14 Fifa officials and sports marketing executives of soliciting and receiving more than $150-million in bribes and kickbacks over two decades, applied in July for Warner’s extradition.

Warner has previously been a member of parliament, Fifa vice-president and president of both Concacaf and the Caribbean Football Union.

He is accused, among other things, of buying the television rights to the 2010 and 2014 World Cup tournaments from Blatter for grossly deflated sums.

This contract allegedly allowed Warner to make a comfortable profit on the resale of the television rights.

Blatter is the target of a probe into “criminal mismanagement” at Fifa by Swiss prosecutors, focusing on the 2005 television rights sale to the Caribbean Football Union and a two million Swiss franc ($2-million) payment to Uefa president Michel Platini.

French football legend Platini has been questioned by Swiss investigators, but has not been named as a suspect. – AFP

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