January 23 – The will-they-won’t-they battle for extradition of former FIFA vice president and Concacaf president Jack Warner took another delaying step this week when Warner was given final approval to challenge the extradition proceedings against him at the Privy Council, the final appellate court in London.
In 2016 the authority to proceed (ATP) with the extradition to the US of Warner who is wanted on various counts of corruption, graft, bribery and money laundering as part of the FIFAgate indictments, was signed in 2016 by Trinidad and Tobago Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi.
Warner challenged the legality of the Extradition (Commonwealth and Foreign Territories) Act, and the treaty signed between this country and the US.
In June 2019, the Court of Appeal dismissed his judicial review claim, but stayed the extradition proceedings so Warner could seek permission to argue his case at the Privy Council.
Warner is on bail of $2.5 million in Trinidad and although banned by FIFA, he has been far from dormant in local politics and, if he is believed, also in football politics where he has given his backing to the new Trinidad and Tobago FA, many of whose leading lights were officials when Warner was in his pomp.
They have been backed by some leading members of the local media who vehemently protest at any link to Warner, despite Warner having said in interviews that he was contacted by the new group in power. Having been elected on a party political platform – itself a dubious concept in the governance of sports federations – the ‘Unity’ group has a lot to prove both internally and to their colleagues across the Caribbean and within Concacaf.
Domestically they promised to restore Trinidad to the top table of Caribbean and Concacaf performing nations. One of their first acts within that strategy was to close the newly opened Trinidad Home of Football.
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