Jack Warner said he resigned from soccer's governing body FIFA because he lost the enthusiasm to continue and that people within the organisation "sought to undermine me in ways that are unimaginable."The 68-year-old head of the Caribbean Football Union and CONCACAF regional body quit after FIFA this month hired FBI Director Louis Freeh to investigate bribery claims against Warner and Mohammed Bin Hammam, the head of soccer in Asia.FIFA said its probe into Warner has ended after he resigned.
Warner and Bin Hammam were suspended from FIFA pending further investigation on May 29 after Chuck Blazer, a US official who worked as CONCACAF's general secretary under Warner for two decades, alleged the pair tried to bribe Caribbean voters to choose Bin Hammam in FIFA's presidential election over incumbent Sepp Blatter.Bloomberg.co.com quoted Warner as saying in a telephone interview: "I have lost my enthusiasm to continue."The general secretary that I had employed, who worked with me for 21 years, with the assistance of elements of FIFA has sought to undermine me in ways that are unimaginable."The story said Blazer didn't respond to a voicemail seeking comment. In a previous interview he said it was his duty to report wrongdoing.
Warner was also quoted in that story as saying he regretted not making public a promised declaration for Blatter in May, when the FIFA president lobbied for votes at the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football at a meeting in Miami.He arranged for Bin Hammam to visit Caribbean members of the organisation a few days later after Bin Hammam, a Qatari, said his US visa didn't arrive on time. Blazer alleged that bundles of US$40,000 were given to officials.
"I told Mr Blatter in an e-mail that Mr Bin Hammam doesn't have a chance," Warner said. "I told Mr Blatter also that I would ask Mr Bin Hammam to withdraw. I told him he has CONCACAF support. Had we announced in Miami, CONCACAF support for Mr Blatter, all this would never have happened."Bin Hammam, 62, has denied claims he tried to buy votes. Warner said he wasn't around when the money is said by witnesses to have changed hands at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Port of Spain.
Still, he said gift-giving has been part of FIFA culture during the near 30 years he's been associated with the organisation. "It's not unusual for such things to happen and gifts have been around throughout the history of FIFA," Warner said. "What's happening now for me is hypocrisy." "At the end of the day I don't want to be seen to be vengeful," Warner said. "I am saying over time history will judge Mr. Blatter," Warner was also quoted as saying."If FIFA doesn't go back to its moorings, football in the world as we know it today will never be the same again," Warner said.
Warner said he'll continue to assist with FIFA's inquiry although wouldn't meet with Freeh because he believed he was acting on behalf of Blazer and CONCACAF lawyer John Collins. Collins drafted the original complaint against Warner and Bin Hammam. He said he felt hurt by Blazer's actions."I don't know who's a friend and who's a foe," Warner said. "In retrospect possibly my friends, who I thought of as my friends, have been foes and possibly my foes have been friends. In fullness of time I'll be able to see better who was foe and who was friend."