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Warner appeals suspension

And now supporting Blatter

By Renuka Singh

Jack Warner has appealed his suspension as FIFA vice-president.

Warner's attorney, Om Lalla, said yesterday that Warner was contesting his 30-day suspension.

Though Lalla was on his way back to the country yesterday, he said Warner would remain in Zurich for a short time, but expected him to return before the end of the week.

Lalla said he appealed Warner's suspension and the hearing would take place "shortly".

"The appeal is to lift the suspension," he said in a telephone interview as he was waiting to board a plane from New York to return to Trinidad.

Lalla said he was sure Warner would get a hearing next week and was confident that the suspension would be lifted.

He said after his experience in Zurich over the last few days, he only now fully understood how large a realm FIFA was operating in.

"You are playing in whole different level there and I'm sure Mr Warner would want to talk about that too when he returns," he said.

"There is a lot that is going to come out of this situation. Warner was vindicated in the issue with Lord Triesman and he will be vindicated here too," he said. last month,

Triesman accused Warner of soliciting money to build an education centre in Trinidad at an estimated cost of £2.5 million (TT$26 million). He has been cleared of the charge.

Lalla said a groundswell of international condemnation was directed at current FIFA head honcho Sepp Blatter and people on the international scale were more supportive and sympathetic towards Warner.

"We have seen a lot of support for him (Warner)", he said.

Lalla said he was aware that high ranking Congress of the People (COP) members were calling for Warner to step down, but called such action "premature".

"For COP to treat it like this is premature. This is an administrative problem within the sporting body that is conducting preliminary enquiries. To impute guilt at this stage is premature," he said.

Lalla was referring to COP's chairman Joseph Toney's call for Warner to step down following this suspension.

Warner, Qatari millionaire Mohamed bin Hammam and two members of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) were suspended on Sunday for allegedly offering US$40,000 to 13 members of the CFU to vote for bin Hammam as FIFA president. Bin Hammam has since withdrawn from the race.

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