Saturday, February 24, 2018

Warner dismisses 'totally false' claims



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ALLEGATIONS are once more being brought against Works and Transport Minister Jack Warner in his capacity as FIFA vice-president.

This time they involve him asking England to fund an education centre in Trinidad at a cost of 2.5 million among other things.

According to English newspaper reports, during a sitting of the House of Commons in the United Kingdom yesterday, former chairman of England's failed 2018 World Cup bid, Lord David Triesman, accused Warner and three other members of the executive committee responsible for choosing the host countries of unethical behaviour.

Over the past couple of years, Warner has been accused of corruption, bribery, fraud and money laundering. In 2009, BBC's Panorama accused him of repeatedly taking advantage of his position for financial gain.

FIFA's auditors, Ernst and Young, estimated that his family made a profit of at least US$1 million from reselling 2006 World Cup tickets that Warner had ordered.

In response to the recent allegations, however, Warner said they were "untrue", but admitted he did ask that they do "something" for Trinidad. Speaking at a sod-turning ceremony at Mulchan Seuchan Road, Chaguanas yesterday, Warner at first dismissed the allegations as "foolishness" and said the claims made against him were "totally false".

"If he (Triesman) had a point to make, he should have made it last December. That guy's political career is dying and I am not going to revive it," he said.

"Why England talking now?" Warner asked.

"I took England to Longdenville to see a place in Longdenville, to build a place for the people in Longdenville. That was public knowledge," he said. "I told them if you want to do something to help Trinidad, build a place in Longdenville," he said.

Warner questioned the timing of the allegations, saying these types of allegations always tend to surface when they have a major meeting or preparations for a meeting taking place.

"He talked about Jack Warner and FIFA and (Sepp) Blatter and you will see (allegations) was there for the World Cup in South Africa and it is here now that we are having a FIFA congress in two weeks' time or three weeks' time and therefore the timing is (questionable)," he said.