Former FIFA vice-president, Jack Warner, is set for a legal showdown with CONCACAF after instructing his attorney Keith Scotland to file a US$40 million lawsuit against CONCACAF and United States Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati.
Warner, who is currently banned from all football-related activities falling under FIFA, is suing “for the persistent defamation of my character.” On Friday, it was reported that CONCACAF was suing Warner and ex-CONCACAF general secretary Chuck Blazer for US$20 million, alleging the pair negotiated bribes and kickbacks in connection with lucrative broadcasting rights for tournaments.
But Warner, in a press release yesterday afternoon, dismissed the allegations, saying the accusations being made “have been repetitive and ancient” and questioned why he is being targeted by football’s regional authorities.
“I have left the CONCACAF since 2011. Why the CONCACAF will not leave my family and me alone is simply mind-boggling. CONCACAF football is at its lowest today and the current threat to sue Warner and Blazer for 20 million US is nothing more than a distraction to shift its pathetic current state away from the management of this Confederation,” he said.
He believes the lawsuit against him stems from “vindictiveness” due to the inability of the USA to acquire the hosting rights for the 2022 World Cup which was awarded to Qatar.
“All these false allegations filed in an American court simply because the USA did not obtain the votes to host a FIFA World Cup will fall to nought,” he said, while adding Gulati and other CONCACAF officials may have something to hide.
“I have my name to protect and my family to defend and that I will do to the very end.
I have been slaughtered for the past six years and have remained silent ignoring my legal options to respond to the atrocities that have been perpetrated against me by men of the lower ilk. And so the time has come for me to respond,” he said.
Warner vehemently defended his tenure at CONCACAF which lasted over 20 years but ended when he resigned in the midst of a cash-for-votes scandal in 2011.
“I left CONCACAF (in 2011) located in the prestigious Trump Tower with millions of dollars in its bank account and sub offices in Guatemala City and Port of Spain. When I assumed office in 1990, it was virtually impossible for the many teams in CONCACAF to represent the region at FIFA World Cups, since we were only allocated one team. By the time I left office, three and a half teams had the opportunity to represent the Confederation every FIFA World Cup,” he said.