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Warner issues 'Straight Talk,' blames Blatter for problems
by Paul Kennedy, April 26th, 2013 12AM

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TAGS:  fifa


[FIFA] Former Concacaf President Jack Warner won't go quietly into the sunset. Four days after resigning his position as Trinidad & Tobago's national security minister, he held a bizarre public meeting dubbed “Straight Talk” that attracted thousands of supporters to hear him say he was resigning as a member of parliament for his district of Chaguanas West -- but planned to run in the special election to fill his seat. He also insisted Concacaf had it all wrong with its charges he defrauded the organization of millions of dollars.

On the allegations of massive fraud during his 22-year tenure as Concacaf president, Warner blamed them on a falling out with FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

“Every vicious allegation leveled against me is without basis,” he said of the Concacaf investigation that accused him of defrauding the confederation of millions of dollars.

The biggest charge was that the $26 million Concacaf Centre of Excellence built with Concacaf money and FIFA loans was actually owner by Warner, unbeknownst to Concacaf.

At Thursday's talk, Warner claimed he was innocent, presenting a letter from from FIFA president Joao Havelange in which Havelange promised to discuss the possibility of gifting the center as a “donation.” And he blamed discrepancies in the legal documents on the fact that Concacaf was not registered as a foreign corporation in Trinidad & Tobago until 1999.

Warner was greeted with a standing ovation when he appeared at the public form.

Warner resigned his minister's position Sunday night at the request of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and blamed his exit on "internal enemies."

He said none of the allegations against him relate to his tenure in office as a minister.

“I said I would never use politics to enrich my wealth or fatten my bank accounts," he said. "And I have kept my word.



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