Suspended VP attacks FIFA hierarchy

PORT OF SPAIN, May 29, 2011 (AFP) - FIFA vice-president and Trinidad and Tobago MP Jack Warner lived up to his promise to hit the world football governing body with a "football tsunami" as he Sunday slammed the organisation's Ethical Committee's decision to suspend him.

He also made accusations of his own against FIFA president Sepp Blatter and general secretary Jerome Valcke in a 1,044 word press release.

Warner claimed that, at the CONCACAF North, Central American and Caribbean federations congress on May 3, Blatter gave "a gift of one million USD to CONCACAF to spend as it deems fit" despite the "annoyance" of UEFA president Michel Platini.

He alleged that Valcke silenced Platini’s protestations by insisting he would "find the money for Mr Blatter" although the payment was not authorized by the Finance Committee. Warner further alleged that Blatter gave the CFU "gifts of laptops and projectors" on May 10.

Warner, who denies wrongdoing, insisted the Ethics Committee was "prejudiced" and "politically motivated" and he criticized the Committee for supposedly giving him insufficient time to mount a defence.

"The decision to suspend me is an abuse of the process and achieves no real purpose as stated in the decision," stated Warner, "and again demonstrates the bias of this enquiry."

"I intend to say a lot more on this matter shortly."

Warner and Mohamed Bin Hammam, the Qatari president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), as well as Caribbean Football Union (CFU) officials Jason Sylvester and Debbie Minguell were suspended from their football posts until the report of a full inquiry, which should be given in late June or early July.

Valcke, the FIFA general secretary, referred the quartet to the Ethics Committee after Concacaf general secretary Chuck Blazer passed on alleged evidence of bribery at a CFU meeting in Trinidad on May 10 and 11.

Bin Hammam, who was a contender for the June 1 FIFA presidential election, has since withdrawn his nomination.

Warner claimed to have affidavits from 13 of the CFU’s 25 members that refuted Blazer’s allegations against him.

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