Former FIFA vice-president and CONCACAF President Jack Warner has said that he will reveal all he knows about corruption at the world soccer body.
In an address on Trinidadian TV on June 3, Jack Warner, who said he feared for his life, also said he could link FIFA officials to general elections in his native Trinidad and Tobago in 2010.
The 72-year-old is one of the 14 people charged by the US over alleged corruption at FIFA.
Another top FIFA official and key witness, American Chuck Blazer, has admitted accepting bribes.
The admissions came in a newly released transcript of Chuck Blazer’s guilty plea from 2013, as part of a wide-ranging US criminal case that has engulfed FIFA and led President Sepp Blatter to resign.
The DoJ alleges the 14 people charged worldwide accepted bribes and kickbacks estimated at more than $150 million over a 24-year period. Four others have already been charged, including Chuck Blazer.
Jack Warner resigned from all soccer activity in 2011 amid bribery allegations and later stepped down as Trinidad and Tobago’s security minister amid a fraud inquiry.
A key figure in the deepening scandal, Jack Warner said he had given lawyers documents outlining the links between FIFA, its funding, himself and the 2010 election in Trinidad and Tobago. He said the transactions also included Sepp Blatter.
In the TV address entitled The Gloves Are Off, Jack Warner said: “I will no longer keep secrets for them who actively seek to destroy the country.”
He promised an “avalanche” of revelations to come, speaking to his supporters at a rally later the same day.
Jack Warner, who denies the charges against him and faces extradition to the US, was released on bail after handing himself in to police in the Trinidad and Tobago capital of Port of Spain last week.
He resigned from FIFA’s executive committee in 2011 amid allegations he had bribed his Caribbean associates.
Jack Warner’s address came hours after the details of Chuck Blazer’s 2013 plea bargain came to light, including the admission that he and other officials had accepted bribes in connection with the 2010 World Cup bid, which saw the tournament awarded to South Africa.
On June 4, South African police said they had opened a preliminary investigation into allegations its national soccer association paid a $10 million bribe to host the tournament – a claim the authorities deny.
Six FIFA officials have been arrested in Zurich over corruption charges at the soccer governing body and face extradition to the US, Swiss authorities say.
Separately, Swiss prosecutors have launched a criminal case into the 2018 and 2022 football World Cup bids.
The suspects, who include a FIFA vice-president, allegedly accepted bribes worth $150 million over 20 years.
FIFA members are due to vote on May 29 in a presidential election when incumbent Sepp Blatter is seeking a fifth term.
However, Sepp Blatter is not understood to be one of those arrested.
Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein of Jordan – Sepp Blatter’s rival for the FIFA presidency – described the development as “a sad day for football”, but withheld from commenting further.
FIFA’s Zurich headquarters has also been raided, with documents seized, Swiss prosecutors say.
Among those arrested in Zurich are: Jeffrey Webb – head of the confederation for North and Central America and the Caribbean, CONCACAF; Jack Warner, former FIFA vice-president; Costa Rica’s national football chief Eduardo Li, who was due to join FIFA’s executive committee on May 29; Uruguay’s Eugenio Figueredo, president of South American football governing body CONMEBOL; Brazil’s Jose Maria Marin, a member of FIFA’s club committee.
Police were seen carrying Jose Maria Marin’s suitcase and some of his possessions in plastic bags.
Several officials have already pleaded guilty, the US Department of Justice says. These include Charles Blazer, the former head of CONCACAF, who was previously on the FIFA executive committee.
A FIFA spokesman said the governing body was seeking to clarify the situation.
The Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) said in a statement on May 27 that US authorities suspected the officials of receiving $150 million worth of bribes since the early 1990s for football tournaments in Latin America.
The crimes were agreed to and prepared in the US via US bank accounts, the statement adds.
Swiss authorities can immediately approve the extradition, it continues.
In a separate move, prosecutors opened criminal proceedings “against persons unknown on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and of money laundering in connection with the allocation of the 2018 and 2022 football World Cups,” said a statement from the Swiss attorney-general.
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