Warner quits FIFA; bribery charges droppedGENEVA - Jack Warner quit as a FIFA vice president Monday and football’s governing body dropped a bribery investigation of him, saying the “presumption of innocence is maintained.’’
Warner and Asian football chief Mohamed bin Hammam were suspended by FIFA last month amid the gravest corruption crisis to rock the scandal-hit organization. The two leaders were accused of offering $40,000 cash payments to Caribbean voters during Bin Hammam’s failed presidential campaign to unseat Sepp Blatter. Warner’s departure appears likely to stop his promised “football tsunami’’ of revelations designed to embarrass FIFA after it accused him of bribery May 25.
His decision also could help preserve his political career in his native Trinidad and Tobago, where he is a government minister. Police on the Caribbean island had said they would ask FIFA for any evidence of wrongdoing.
“As a consequence of Mr. Warner’s self-determined resignation, all ethics committee procedures against him have been closed and the presumption of innocence is maintained,’’ FIFA said in a statement.
Zurich-based FIFA said that under Swiss law it has no jurisdiction over someone who leaves FIFA but stressed that “should that person come back to football, the investigation would be automatically reopened.’’
Warner said in a statement that he is quitting “to spare FIFA, Concacaf and, in particular, CFU and its membership, from further acrimony and divisiveness arising from this and related issues.’’
Warner spent 28 years on FIFA’s executive committee and was a vice president as head of the Concacaf regional confederation. He stepped down days after some of his Caribbean Football Union followers were interviewed by former FBI agents enlisted by FIFA to investigate the scandal. Warner and Bin Hammam were accused of allegedly arranging the payments in a Port of Spain hotel during the Qatari official’s campaign visit May 10.
“This decision is by my own volition and self-determination; albeit it comes during the sequel to the contentious Mohammed bin Hammam meeting in Port of Spain in May with CFU Delegates,’’ Warner’s statement 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.”
Warner joined FIFA’s inner circle in 1983 and in 1990 was elected president of the confederation that covers North and Central America and the Caribbean. The 68-year-old official was given another four-year term unopposed at the Concacaf congress May 3 in Miami.
한글 관련 기사 [OSEN]
`수뢰 혐의` 워너 FIFA 부회장 사퇴
국제축구연맹(FIFA) 회장 경선 과정에서 뇌물을 받은 의혹이 제기됐던 잭 워너(68) FIFA 부회장이 지난 20일(이하 한국시간) 사퇴했다고 AFP통신이 보도했다.
이 보도에 따르면 워너 부회장은 FIFA에 보낸 서한에서 FIFA 부회장직은 물론 북중미-카리브해축구연맹(CONCACAF) 회장직 등 모든 축구 관련 직책에서 물러났다.
이에 대해 FIFA는 공식 성명서를 통해 "워너 부회장의 사퇴는 뇌물 수수와 관련된 조사가 끝났다는 사실을 의미한다"고 설명했다.
워너 부회장은 지난 5월 10일부터 이틀간 트리니다트 토바고에서 열린 CONCACAF 지도자 모임에서 모하메드 빈 함맘 아시아축구연맹(AFC) 회장으로부터 4만 달러 가량의 뇌물을 받은 것으로 알려졌다.
이 사건은 척 블레이저 CONCACAF 사무총장이 FIFA에 서면 신고하면서 공개됐다. 이에 따라 FIFA 윤리위원회는 함맘 회장과 워너 부회장의 조사에 들어갔고, 함맘 회장은 FIFA 회장 출마를 철회한 바 있다.
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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