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Fifa clears Warner of Triesman charges
Embattled Fifa Vice President Jack Warner said yesterday he regained some hope in the power of truth and transparency after the English Football Association cleared him and three other Fifa executives of bribery allegations levelled against them by former head of the FA, Lord Triesman. Last month, Triesman, who led the FA in its 2018 World Cup bid until last May, claimed that Warner, Nicolas Leoz, Ricardo Teixeira and Worawi Makudi had engaged in “improper and unethical” conduct. Triesman made the accusation during a parliamentary inquiry that was trying to determine why England lost the bid for hosting the 2018 World Cup. It was awarded to Russia. In testimony to a committee of the House of Commons in London, Triesman had accused Warner of asking for a bribe of £2.5m to build a school in Trinidad and another £500,000 to buy Haiti's World Cup TV rights.
However, an independent report commissioned by the FA, and conducted by James Dingemans QC, exonerated the four. Dingemans has been retained by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago on a number of occasions to appear before the Privy Council, including the Trinity Cross matter and the most recent Abu Bakr appeal. Dingemans is the head of the 3 Hare Court chambers in London, members of which are working with Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj to bring a lawsuit against the Government in the Clico matter. “All four are completely clean,” said Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke yesterday and a news release on the FIFA Web site said that the world football governing body had “found no elements in this report which would prompt the opening of any ethics proceedings.” Warner said the report confirmed what he had been saying since the “fallacious and malicious allegations were made.”
Warner said confidentiality agreements had prevented certain people from telling all about the source of the allegations against him. He said the entire matter was a conspiracy and maintains he has done no wrong. He said the FIFA Ethics Committee, which is to hear the bribery matter against him, has abused its power and was “a far cry from what such a body should be exhibiting.” Warner added: “It must have pained Mr Blatter (Fifa President) and Mr Valcke to read this report. But the fact which cannot be changed is, as Valcke declared, all four are completely clean.”
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