November 17 – Football’s most-wanted, former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner, has lost his appeal to the UK’s Privy Council and can be extradited from Trinidad to face multiple corruption charges in the US.
Warner was one of the bigger fish named in the US Department of Justice indictments in May 2015 that listed more than 40 FIFA elected officials.
Warner is accused of multiple counts of fraud and graft totalling more than $40 million, as well as further counts of money laundering and bribery stretching back over 30 years.
The US made an extradition request to Trinidad and Tobago in July 2015 and on 21 September 2015, the T&T Attorney General authorised extradition proceedings against Warner on 29 offences of fraud, corruption and money laundering.
Following a series of appeals arguing that his extradition was unlawful, Warner was given permission to take his case to the UK’s London’s Privy Council, the highest court of appeal for a number of Commonwealth countries.
The extradition of Warner will re-ignite the so-called FIFAgate case in the Caribbean where Warner ruled as president of Concacaf and as a powerbroker, more often than not, closely aligned to former FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
Award of World Cup television contracts to Warner subsidiaries and rumours around the cash for votes scandal in the award of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 World Cup to Qatar will in particular come into focus.
The DOJ allege that Warner was paid $5 million through various shell companies to vote for Russia to host the 2018 World Cup.
Warner said previously that if he was extradited to the US he would unleash a “tsunami” of information on FIFA and its officials.
Warner’s successor as Concacaf president, Jeff Webb, one of the original FIFA seven arrested at the Swiss Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich, is still awaiting sentencing despite having pleaded guilty to corruption charges in November 2015.
It now looks like the US justice authorities have their man. The question becomes who else will they now get alongside him.
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