There is the saying if you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. Mohamed Bin Hammam, the former FIFA Vice President is back in the news. Unlike Caribbean media international journalists take the business of investigative reporting seriously. The Sunday Times has gone public with a report Hammam used slush funds to make dozens of payments to senior football officials which resulted in the decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar – Sunday Times report: Qatar 2022 World Cup bid faces fresh corruption claims.
Many in the Caribbean in and out of government will again have to hold their collective breath at the thought, if there is smoke there must be fire. Enter Jack Warner bosom buddy of Hammam. The Sunday Times report accuses Hammam of funneling more than $1.6 million directly into bank accounts controlled by Warner, including $450,000 before the vote. Warner resigned from football duties, including his 28-year membership of FIFA’s committee, in June 2011 to avoid investigation in a bribery scandal linked to Bin Hammam’s campaign for FIFA president.
Jack Warner is no stranger to controversy and he is definitely no stranger to staving off accusations of corruption from all quarters. Many have forgotten the findings of Sir David Simmons’ CONCACAF Integrity Committee report which was damning it its conclusion that Warner engaged in nefarious activity while he was Vice President of FIFA.
BU attempted to contact Warner when the issue unfolded last year via his Facebook page (FB) to seek information about his threat to sue Sir David over the CONCACAF report. After making promises to provide the affidavit the managers of his page stopped responding to BU messages. It is obvious there was never any substance his public posturing on the matter.
Jack Warner is an intriguing character. BU recently put the query to a Trinidadian commentator, Would appreciate if anyone, anyone can explain how Jack remains relevant in T&T politics. Here is the response offered:
Jack is interesting these days because he is taking aim at the PP through his newspaper and he also likes to “buss ah mark” in public meetings. The ILP did not perform well in the LGE, but we will see how the General Elections shape up. And what you ask goes beyond Jack, and calls into question why the electorate selects obviously corrupt candidates – after all Jack is an mp. This is not unique to Trinidad, but here is some historical perspective to shed some light on “rum and roti politics ” http://caribbeanhistoryarchives.blogspot.com/…/the…
The sooner the international investigation is able to bring closure to the matter which spawns Jack Warner and his dealings with FIFA funds and related issues, the sooner the Caribbean maybe able to purge this sore from the Caribbean landscape. Many who accepted brown paper bags must be depositing crap of a lighter colour in the W.C. Time may soon tell if the crap remains solid or starts to run.
Just 10 days away from World Cup 2014 kickoff to be held in Brazil, the mecca of football, and the scourge of corruption raises its head again over FIFA AND Jack Warner.