LONDON - FIFA's Ethics Committee found
"comprehensive, convincing and overwhelming" evidence that
Mohamed Bin Hammam and Jack Warner were involved in attempted
bribery, according to the preliminary report that led to the
suspension of the two officials.
Trinidadian Warner resigned as a FIFA Vice-President and
president of CONCACAF on Monday, prompting the sport's governing
body to drop an investigation into bribery allegations against
him and leaving "a presumption of innocence."
The ethics committee's report, compiled by Namibian judge
Petrus Damuseb last month and seen by Reuters on Wednesday, said
there was a "compelling case" that Bin Hammam was engaged in an
act of bribery and that Warner was an accessory.
The ethics committee acted on that evidence by suspending
the pair. Qatari Bin Hammam had by then pulled out of FIFA's
presidential campaign, leaving Sepp Blatter to win a fourth term
Bin Hammam said on Wednesday he had done nothing wrong while
Warner, who also denied any wrongdoing, hit out at the way the
document had been leaked to the media.
FIFA said it had no comment on the report.
The claims centre on a meeting of the Caribbean Football
Union (CFU) in Trinidad in May.
"The comprehensive, convincing and overwhelming evidence
permits to conclude prima facie that the accused (Warner) has
initiated and arranged a special meeting of the CFU member
associations for Mr Bin Hammam," the report says.
"Furthermore on the occasion of this meeting it seems that
Mr Bin Hammam offered, at least indirectly and under the pledge
of secrecy, to each of the member associations an envelope
"The FIFA Ethics Committee is of the primary opinion that
the accused (Warner) had knowledge of the respective payments
and condoned them."
The report adds: "The committee is also of the opinion that
the respective money gifts can probably only be explained if
they are associated with the FIFA presidential elections of June 1 2011.
"Therefore it appears rather compelling to consider the
actions of Mr Bin Hammam constitute prima facie an act of
bribery, or at least an attempt to commit bribery.
"It appears prima facie impossible, in the opinion of the
FIFA Ethics Committee, that the accused [Warner] could have
considered the money distributed on the occasion of the special
CFU meeting as legally or ethically proper and without any
connection to the upcoming FIFA presidential election.
"Consequently the accused would at least be considered as an
accessory to the aforementioned violations."
Bin Hammam issued a statement via a spokesman re-affirming
his denial of any wrongdoing.
"There is nothing I can say more than I deny the allegations
and insist that I have not done anything wrong during the
special congress at Trinidad," he said.
Warner said in a statement: "I, Jack Warner, did not partake
in the distribution of any cash gifts to my members.
"I hope for the good of the game, good sense will prevail or
at least I will continue to live in hope."
Warner was also angry about what he called the "anonymous
leaks to the media in an investigation that is still ongoing."
"I can only therefore conclude that this development is part
of an ongoing malicious agenda to destroy the cohesion which has
made the Caribbean Football Union a factor to be reckoned with
in FIFA affairs; and thus diminish CFU's significance in various
areas of FIFA decision making."
Trinidad and Tobago's parliamentary opposition later called
on Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to fire Warner from his
position as transportation minister in her government.
"It is wholly unacceptable for an individual to be so
disgraced in an international organisation, falling short of
matters of ethics and integrity and still be allowed to remain
as a cabinet minister," Keith Rowley, an opposition leader,
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