FIFA’s ethics committee on Tuesday banned former vice-president Jack Warner from football-related activities for life. Warner, who left FIFA in 2011 after being implicated in a bribery scandal, was investigated by the investigatory chamber of the ethics committee following its report on the inquiry into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process.
“Mr Warner was found to have committed many and various acts of misconduct continuously and repeatedly during his time as an official in different high-ranking and influential positions at FIFA and CONCACAF (the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football),’’ a statement said.
“In his positions as a football official, he was a key player in schemes involving the offer, acceptance, and receipt of undisclosed and illegal payments, as well as other money-making schemes.”
The ban is effective from Friday Sept. 25 – the date the Swiss attorney general’s office announced it was launching a criminal investigation into FIFA president Joseph Blatter.
Part of the Swiss investigation concerns a contract signed in 2005 by Blatter with the Caribbean Football Union, led at the time by Warner, which was “unfavourable for FIFA.’’
Warner, 72, from Trinidad and Tobago, is currently on 2.5-million-dollar bail awaiting extradition to the U.S., where he faces indictment on racketeering charges.
He was a member of FIFA’s executive committee from 1983-2011, and was president of CONCACAF from 1990-2011.
The ethics committee has yet to make a statement on Blatter, who will step down at an extraordinary FIFA congress in Zurich on Feb. 26.
Former Brazil international Zico, who is a potential candidate to succeed Blatter, called for “immediate clarification’’ from FIFA’s ethics committee on Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini, who has been questioned as a witness by Swiss prosecutors.
FIFA presidential contender Chung Mong Joon meanwhile called on Tuesday for an emergency task force to run FIFA, saying football’s world governing body is in “total meltdown.’’
The South Korean former FIFA vice-president said the task force “will enable FIFA secretariat to function without interruption’’ during its leadership crisis.
It follows a Swiss criminal investigation into Blatter announced on Friday. Swiss prosecutors questioned Platini as a witness into a payment of 2 million Swiss francs he received from Blatter in 2011.
Chung described Friday as “another sad day for FIFA’’ which has been rocked by a number of corruption scandals and the arrests and indictments of senior football officials in a U.S., probe.
In May, 14 people including Warner and other senior football officials were indicted on racketeering charges in the United States involving more than 150 million dollars.
Chung said while as a FIFA executive committee member “I worked ceaselessly to confront and to correct what I thought were opaque and illegal ways in which Mr Blatter and his predecessor, Mr (Joao) Havelange, ran FIFA.”
FIFA is “facing an unprecedented crisis” and with its secretary general, Jerome Valcke, suspended, and Blatter facing a criminal investigation “is in a total meltdown,” Chung said.
Chung, a businessman and member of the family that founded Hyundai, is standing against Platini and Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan for the FIFA presidency.
If elected he said he would serve a single four-year term and use the first two years “to undertake a complete structural and operational reform of FIFA” and devote the remaining two years to bringing “unity and harmony’’ to the organization.
“Forty years of culture of corruption can be eradicated in four years,’’ he said.
Zico, 62, said in an open letter to the ethics committee on his Facebook page that the committee cannot fail to act following the criminal investigation into Blatter.
Zico said the committee had in the past taken steps against members of FIFA’s executive committee, including Warner and Mohammed bin Hammam, without previous action by prosecuting authorities. Both were suspended in 2011 after bribery allegations.
Zico said the ethics committee “must act with great transparency’’ and “disclose all its procedures’’ so that reforms and the FIFA presidential election in February are “not contaminated by suspicions of corruption.’’
Zico is also seeking to enter the race for the presidency but has yet to gather enough nominations to become an official candidate.
Swiss prosecuting authorities said on Friday they questioned Blatter “on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and – alternatively – misappropriation.’’
Blatter and Platini have denied any wrongdoing. Platini wrote Monday to FIFA’s ethics committee seeking to clear up any questions surrounding the payment made to him in February 2011.