Friday, December 14, 2012

FIFA drops Bin Hamman probe. Warner: Vindicated at last

Jack Warner with Mohammed Bin Hammam
Former FIFA Vice-President, Jack Warner, said Thursday that he felt vindicated by FIFA’s decision to close the investigation on former Presidential candidate, Mohamed Bin Hammam.

The former FIFA vice president said said he always knew that neither he, nor Bin Hamman, had committed any offence during the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Congress in Trinidad in May 2011. 

Warner resigned from FIFA and all forms of football two months after the allegations were made, while FIFA banned Bin Hammam for life. In July this year, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), overturned the lifetime ban.

Warner, who is Minister of National Security in the People’s Partnership Government as well as the Ag Minister of Sport, offered his congratulations to Bin Hammam whom he said persevered at great personal sacrifice and expense to clear his name.

“I must really extend sincere congratulations to my former colleague in FIFA for taking the battle all the way to CAS. This happened at a time when he was challenging for the Presidency of FIFA. 

"It is unfortunate that these allegations derailed Bin Hammam’s chances which I thought were very good. Bin Hammam had a great chance of being the new FIFA President and to bring the Asian continent into the pale of international football leadership for the first time.”

Warner said "right here in Trinidad and Tobago, he had been maligned and vilified by persons and organisations, some of whom called on the Honourable Prime Minister to dismiss him from her Cabinet. He said some people had even pressured the Commissioner of Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions to take action, on what I have always termed a witch hunt".

Warner said he had been the subject of abuse by commentators and persons in the media with an axe to grind, and those with political affiliation with the Opposition People’s National Movement (PNM). 

“But I kept praying as I always had faith in my God. I must also thank the Honourable Prime Minister, who despite the repeated calls, kept the faith and allowed me to continue to serve the people of Trinidad and Tobago….a task which I am still performing.”

Warner added that “because of the false allegations, my family and I were the subjects of much harassment and persecution, which unfortunately continue to this day. I sincerely hope that with this announcement, we will finally have some much-deserved relief.”

Warner said he has no intention of returning to FIFA. He said he played his role by being a member of FIFA Executive for 29 years.

Warner concluded that if the very gifted former boss of the FBI and his very gifted team that spent 7-digit figures of FIFA’s money to investigate what turns out to be nothing and was unable to find any proof for the totally asinine assumptions and allegations FIFA had come up with at first - aided by dirty and disloyal people who spat into the FIFA bowl from which they ate for years - then I would assume that our own truly gifted people in Trinidad and Tobago will come up empty-handed as well. 

Why? Because where there is nothing to find, you cannot find anything. Except if you plant it there.

Bin Hammam was cleared after no new evidence was unveiled by FIFA’s chief ethics investigator, Michael J Garcia, who opted to close the case and not pursue the new charges.

"This investigation focused on events that took place at the CFU meeting in Trinidad and Tobago in May 2011," his confidential report to FIFA read.

"With respect to the events at the CFU conference, the investigation uncovered no new material proof beyond the substantial evidence presented during the proceedings that culminated with the CAS decision vacating Mr Bin Hammam’s ban.

"Accordingly, the Investigatory Chamber has closed this matter consistent with the CAS Panel’s guidance regarding newly discovered evidence."

The 63-year-old Qatari is still provisionally suspended from footballing activities over financial mismanagement allegations while AFC president, but his legal team are reportedly planning to launch another appeal to CAS over the issue.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai