FIFA announced on Tuesday a lifetime ban of its disgraced former vice president Jack Warner from football-related activities.
The ban appears as honest as the banned. Warner continues to own Joe Public FC in his native Trinidad and Tobago. But FIFA’s ban forbids the Caribbean politician, a mainstay of the organization for nearly three decades, from participating in FIFA-sponsored soccer activities for the rest of 72-year-old Warner’s life. Warner voluntarily stopped participating in FIFA four years ago.
The ban stems from Warner’s role in malfeasance surrounding the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids secured by Qatar and Russia, respectively. Warner, the former head of international soccer in the Western Hemisphere save for South America, resigned from FIFA in 2011 following separate corruption allegations involving bribery and an election of Sepp Blatter to the body’s presidency.
In May, Warner landed in jail as part of a raid that arrested several FIFA poobahs. He fights extradition to the United States.
FIFA explained its decision in a lengthy, but vague, statement regarding Warner’s “many and various acts of misconduct” at FIFA:
The adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, chaired by Hans-Joachim Eckert, has decided to ban the former FIFA Vice-President and Executive Committee member as well as CONCACAF President, Mr Jack Warner, from taking part in any kind of football-related activity at national and international level for life.
The decision was taken on the basis of investigations carried out by the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee following its report on the inquiry into the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup bidding process. The chairman of the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, Dr Cornel Borbély, who took over the chairmanship from his predecessor in late December 2014, immediately opened the investigation into Mr Warner’s activities in January 2015.
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. 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. He was found guilty of violations of art. 13 (General rules of conduct), art. 15 (Loyalty), art. 18 (Duty of disclosure, cooperation and reporting), art. 19 (Conflicts of interest), art. 20 (Offering and accepting gifts and other benefits) and art. 41 (Obligation of the parties to collaborate) of the FIFA Code of Ethics.
The ban is effective from 25 September 2015, the date on which the present decision was notified.
Sepp Blatter, FIFA’s president, announced on Monday that he does not intend to step down from soccer’s governing body until next February’s special election to replace him despite Switzerland’s attorney general opening criminal proceedings against him.