?Fifa vice-president Jack Warner has called on his critics to examine his life.
He said he has dedicated his life to serving the people of Trinidad and Tobago. He said so during a meeting in South Africa on Sunday night when he met with Russian Minister of Sport Vitaly Mutko who has pledged to work with the new People's Partnership Government of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. Mutko is an executive member of Fifa, while Warner is the most senior Fifa vice-president. Both are in South Africa to attend meetings prior to the opening of the World Cup on Friday. The issue of Warner being a Government Minister and affiliated to Fifa was raised by new Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley shortly after he was sworn in last Friday by President George Maxwell Richards at Knowsley Building. Rowley said he intended to write a letter to the Integrity Commission on the issue. On Sunday, in response to Rowley, Persad-Bissessar said she would give "active consideration to concerns raised about Warner."
She said she was sure Warner would do what was appropriate in all the circumstances. She said it involved an issue of law and an issue of ethics. Mutko said he was eager to work with T&T in any way possible, a release from Warner stated yesterday. He described the meeting as a positive step. Warner said: "I am in South Africa for only a short time. This pledge is entirely unexpected, and I look forward to seeing how this development materialises. "I am only an unexpected facilitator in this process. I will pass the mantle on to our capable Minister of Sport Anil Roberts to continue discussions with his Russian counterpart on this matter. "At this time, I am listening to all that is being said about my international affiliations and I welcome all to critically examine my life."
He added: "I have said it on numerous occasions I have no secrets. At this time, if my international office can be used to benefit Trinidad and Tobago and the citizens of this nation then so be it. "I have dedicated my life to serving the people of my great land and I will continue to do that no matter what office I hold." The Russian Minster of Sport, who like Warner, is also an executive member of the Fifa extended another invitation to the Concacaf president to visit Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. In April, Warner declined an invitation from Putin to attend a special reception in his honour.
He explained to the Russian leader then that he was busy during the election campaign. Warner has cut short his trip to Africa and will return to Trinidad early next week to attend the opening of Parliament and to fulfil his ministerial duties.