Jack Warner has suggested his lifetime ban from football-related activities has been used as a way to distract attention away from criminal proceedings being opened against FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
Warner – formerly president of CONCACAF and a FIFA vice-president – was sanctioned on Tuesday after an investigation was opened following the Ethics Committee’s report on the inquiry into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Warner, one of a number of FIFA officials arrested earlier this year amid allegations of corruption, was found by the Committee to have “committed many and various acts of misconduct continuously and repeatedly”.
It comes days after criminal proceedings were opened into Blatter who is alleged to have made a “disloyal payment” to UEFA president Michel Platini in 2011 relating to work carried out by Platini between 1999 and 2002 when the Frenchman was a ‘special advisor’ to the FIFA president.
Blatter is also accused of signing a contract with the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), then led by Warner, in 2005 that market experts claim handed World Cup television rights for the 2010 event in South Africa and the 2014 showpiece in Brazil to Warner for a fraction of their market value.
“I left FIFA in April 2011 and if in September 2015 (some 4 years and 5 months after) FIFA wants to ban me for life without even a hearing then so be it,” read his statement.
“I do not believe however that this will serve as the distraction to FIFA’s present problems as the FIFA wishes it to be.
“Given what is happening in Zurich with Sepp Blatter I guess that there is no such thing as a coincidence.”