PORT OF SPAIN (Reuters) - Former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner has blamed Zionism for the circumstances that led to him and former Asian Football Confederation chief Mohammed Bin Hammam being forced out of world football.
Warner, 68, resigned from FIFA after ethics investigations were begun into a meeting he held with Bin Hammam where FIFA say payments were made to Caribbean soccer officials ahead of the election for FIFA president in June.
Qatari Bin Hammam was handed a lifetime ban by FIFA for his role in the affair while a number of Caribbean officials were given suspensions last week.
Bin Hammam was not immediately available for comment.
Trinadadian Warner says in a letter to the Trinidad Guardian, which will be published in full on Tuesday, he intends to speak out on the affair and highlighted who he felt was to blame for his downfall.
“I will talk about the Zionism, which probably is the most important reason why this acrid attack on Bin Hammam and me was mounted,” Warner told the newspaper.
The payments, of $40,000 (25,400 pounds) to each federation, came to light after some Caribbean officials turned to American Chuck Blazer, a FIFA executive committee member and general secretary of CONCACAF, the regional body for North and Central America and the Caribbean.
Blazer then handed evidence to FIFA which began an inquiry which initially suspended Warner. The case against him was dropped when he resigned all his posts in the game.
The Daily Telegraph in London last week published a video of Warner explaining the payments to Caribbean officials and Warner.
The Trinidad Guardian cited Warner as saying he would reveal gifts that current FIFA president Sepp Blatter made in his election campaigns.
Warner also said he was unhappy with the way he had been treated by FIFA since his resignation.
“FIFA has tried to muzzle me with threats of a worldwide suspension. They have said that they will close down the FIFA Development Office in Trinidad by year end.
“They have advised that they will terminate my son’s 2012 contract at the end of this year. They have retaken the World Cup TV Rights, a matter for which they have not heard the last.
“They have refused to give me any of my 29-year pension. They continue to do such things like revealing a video in the hope that they can embarrass me to lie down on my belly. Never, I repeat, never, regardless of the consequences,” he said.
Blazer, who worked alongside Warner at CONCACAF for most of the last 20 years, told Reuters he was astonished by Warner’s comments.
“It’s the most ludicrous and silly comment that I’ve ever heard Jack make,” Blazer said, adding that he had long and well-established relationships in Middle Eastern football.
Blazer, 66, will stand down as CONCACAF general secretary at the end of the year but will retain his seat on FIFA’s decision-making Executive Committee, which he has held since 1997.
Reporting by Simon Evans in Tampa, Additional reporting by Mike Collett in London, editing by Justin Palmer
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