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Ex-FIFA official Jack Warner promises to spill secrets on FIFA, Sepp Blatter
June 4, 2015, 3:38 pm
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Former senior FIFA official Jack Warner, indicted in a wide-ranging bribery scandal, has promised to unleash a tide of evidence relating to the dealings of world soccer's governing body.

Warner said he fears for his life but it is time to stop keeping secrets for others. The revelations came first in a paid political ad, titled "Jack Warner: The gloves are off," in which he said he had prepared a comprehensive series of documents on FIFA's transactions, including checks and corroborated statements.

They have been placed in "different and respected hands," he said. "There can be no turning back."

In the ad, aired on TV in his native Trinidad and Tobago, Warner said he would "no longer keep secrets for those persons who now seek actively to destroy this country's hard-won international image."

He also said, "I reasonably and surely fear for my life."  At this, he again promised to impart information that would shed light on FIFA's operations to those probing alleged corruption.

"I also will give them my knowledge of financial transactions at FIFA including, but not limited to, Sepp Blatter. I have been there for 30 consecutive years. I was a heartbeat away from Blatter. I said to him in 2011, it's time at 75, it's time to step down," he said.

Warner's claims came shortly after court records revealed that Chuck Blazer, a former FIFA executive committee member and a key player in the ongoing corruption investigation into international soccer's governing body, had admitted that he and other officials took bribes ahead of the 1998 and 2010 World Cups.

In a 40-page document that federal prosecutors released Wednesday, Blazer tells the court that he and other members of the FIFA executive committee took bribes between 2004 and 2011 and helped South Africa land the 2010 World Cup.

Speaking at the rally, Warner said Blatter had turned against him in 2011 when he advised the Swiss to stand down, saying it should be "tomorrow, not the day after," or he would become a lame duck president of FIFA and people might start to ask if he was cooking the books.

"I said to him step down. I said to him, Mr. Blatter, I empathize with you, because I was in 2011 where you are today. The only difference is you caused my demise, I didn't cause yours."

While promising to dish the dirt on others within FIFA, Warner denied wrongdoing himself. "South Africa didn't give me any $10 million bribe," he said. "Blatter didn't give me any bribe."

He added, "Blatter knows why he fell. And if there's one other person who knows, I do."

Blatter stunned the soccer world Tuesday by announcing his intention to resign, just four days after he was elected president for a fifth term by delegates to FIFA's annual World Congress. According to FIFA rules, the earliest a new leader can be elected would be in four months.

Warner has so far not produced any physical evidence or documents to support his claims. He apologized to his country for not making the allegations public sooner.

According to the lengthy U.S. Justice Department indictment filed last month, Warner -- a former FIFA vice president and one of nine FIFA officials charged last week - is accused of taking a $10 million bribe to vote for South Africa's 2010 World Cup.

South Africa's government denies having paid any bribe to secure the hosting rights. FIFA is mired in two investigations right now.

The first: A Swiss criminal investigation into the highly controversial 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids, which went to Russia and Qatar, respectively. Authorities have questioned a few people, but no one's been arrested. Blatter's not being questioned as part of the probe, the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland said last week.

On Thursday, British Culture Secretary told the House of Commons that England is willing to host the 2022 Cup if it is taken away from Qatar.

"Obviously if FIFA came forward and asked us to consider hosting it, we have the facilities in this country and of course we did mount a very impressive, if unsuccessful bid to host the 2018 World Cup," he said.

The second: The U.S. investigation that's targeting alleged wrongdoing that spans 24 years. U.S. prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 14 people, on charges ranging from money laundering to fraud and racketeering.

They include FIFA officials who took bribes totaling more than $150 million and in return provided "lucrative media and marketing rights" to soccer tournaments as kickbacks, prosecutors say.

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