FIFA has confirmed that Works and Transport Minister Jack Warner will be used as a witness in its bribery investigations, despite his resignation from the organisation.The 68-year-old, however, has insisted that he would not partake in any meetings with former FBI director Louis Freeh, who has been chosen to investigate the bribery allegations surrounding world football's governing body.Despite Swiss law stating that no action could be taken against people not in the organisation, Warner would still be able to put evidence forward against others, after choosing to leave on his own accord.United States media reported yesterday that Warner said he would "die first" before helping Freeh investigate the bribery claims.FIFA's Ethics Committee appointed Freeh's agency to look into claims against Warner and another high-ranking Fifa official, Mohamed bin Hammam.Warner said he would assist Fifa, but not Freeh because of his US links."I will die first...Not me," he said.
"If FIFA wants me to co-operate, I will do that, but not with Freeh."I'm not going to back a complaint made by an American and investigated by Americans and an attempt to put it on American soil because the complaint is from Miami...I don't back this farce."Warner and bin Hammam were suspended after executive committee member Chuck Blazer, an American, alleged that violations of FIFA's code of ethics occurred during a meeting organised by the two men in May.
Warner and bin Hammam were accused of giving or offering bribes of US$40,000 to Caribbean football associations. They both denied any wrongdoing but were suspended on May 29, pending further investigation by the Ethics Committee.After Warner quit on Monday, FIFA released a statement which stated that "as a consequence of Mr Warner's resignation, all Ethics Committee procedures against him have been closed and the presumption of innocence is maintained."
In his resignation statement, Warner said: "I am convinced, and I am advised by counsel, that since my actions did not extend beyond facilitating the meeting that gave Mr bin Hammam an opportunity to pursue his aborted bid for the Fifa presidency, I would be fully exonerated by any objective arbiter."Still facing a full Ethics Committee inquiry are two CFU staffers, who allegedly helped hand out the brown envelopes stuffed with $40,000 in $100 notes to Caribbean officials who sat through the Qatari official's election pitch in Port- of- Spain on May 10.Former English FA chairman Lord Triesman branded Fifa's decision to drop its probe "astonishing."
He said: "The whole thing illustrates that at Fifa, even in the 21st century, somebody can say, 'I'm resigning' and be allowed to simply go, with no further action," he said."That is an astonishing state of affairs...It is right to presume innocence until after a hearing has taken place but this just shows Fifa is simply not willing to clean up its act."Last month, Lord Triesman claimed Warner asked for cash to build an education centre in Trinidad. He also claimed Warner demanded 500,000 pounds sterling to buy Haiti's World Cup TV rights for the earthquake-hit nation.Warner denied both allegations and an independent report commissioned by the FA later cleared him of any wrongdoing.