Fifa facing corruption tsunami, says vice-president

2011-05-28 14:41

Port of Spain – Embattled Fifa vice-president Jack Warner says “a football tsunami” will hit the sport’s world governing body when corruption allegations are investigated over the coming days.

Warner and Fifa presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam both face allegations of bribery, while current president Sepp Blatter is the subject of a counterallegation made by Bin Hammam.

“I tell you something, in the next couple days you will see a football tsunami that will hit Fifa and the world that will shock you,” Warner told reporters in Port of Spain today.

“The time has come when I must stop playing dead so you’ll see it. It’s coming, trust me. You’ll see it by now and Monday. I have been here for 29 consecutive years and if the worst happens, the worst happens.”

Blatter will appear before Fifa’s ethics committee tomorrow after claims he knew about alleged cash payments at the centre of an investigation targeting his election rival Bin Hammam.

Bin Hammam had demanded the corruption investigation be widened to include Blatter on Thursday, as the two men prepare to contest a June 1 election for control of world football.

The announcement came two days after Bin Hammam, Warner and two Caribbean Football Union officials were summoned to the ethics committee to answer corruption allegations.

Bin Hammam and Warner were targeted after Chuck Blazer, general secretary of regional footballing body Concacaf, reported possible misdeeds during a May 10 and 11 meeting in Trinidad.

British media reports said Bin Hammam and Warner are accused of offering $40 000 (R277 619) cash gifts to national associations at the Trinidad conference in return for their votes in next week’s presidential election.

Warner said he had not committed a “single iota of wrongdoing”, but admitted he would be prepared to leave Fifa.
“If that is what it comes to, so be it, you must never get too attached to anything,” he said.

“It clouds your judgement and therefore whatever happens, happens – que sera, sera. I am not even remotely bothered.

“I had planned to leave this morning in any case because I have meetings tomorrow afternoon. They can do what they want. It doesn’t bother me.”

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