The Full 90

Soccer corruption allegations hit U.S. region

Originally posted at Midwest Voices.

The shock isn’t the allegation that the world governing body of soccer is just shy of a den of thieves.

When Lord Triesman, who ran England’s World Cup 2018 bid and once their Football Association, trotted out allegations that members of the FIFA were lining up with their hands out, demanding everything from TV rights revenue to a British knighthood, he was treading a well worn path.

Soccer people have been tossing allegations at FIFA for years.

And, for this region, it was certainly nothing new to hear someone utter the name of CONCACAF leader Jack Warner, of Trinidad, in a phrase with the world “corrupt.”

Warner has long been attacked from many sides, by players, fans, other administrators, journalists, etc, for making a tidy profit off of his position. In the past he’s weathered ticket selling scandals, allegations that he’s demanded “favors” for his vote and that he’s hiding money to avoid paying players what they believe they were owed, among others.

This time, Lord Triesman told the Press Association that: “Fifa vice-president Jack Warner asked for money – suggested to be £2.5m – to build an education centre in Trinidad with the cash to be channelled through him, and later £500,000 to buy Haiti’s World Cup TV rights for the earthquake-hit nation, also to go through Warner”

Warner called the allegations “a piece of nonsense” and defended himself to Sky Sports News by noting Triesman “no doubt feels he can revive his dying political career by mentioning that piece of foolishness.”

He added: “I’ve never asked Triesman nor any other person, Englishman or otherwise, for any money for my vote at any time. In the English World Cup campaign, before he was unceremoniously kicked out, I’ve spoken to him on his initiative on only three occasions, while I have spoken to his other colleagues on other occasions and not one of his colleagues will ever corroborate his bit of trivia.”

Now, as has been the case for years with Warner, he’ll probably skate away from these allegations as he has from past allegations. But there is a solid reason to think that this man has long been a hindrance to the advancement of a soccer region that includes the United States, Mexico and Canada as well as Central American nations in addition to the small island nations he tends to foolishly favor.

It really is time for Warner to be an ex-leader for this region of soccer.