Indicted former FIFA vice president and CONCACAF president Jack Warner issued a statement Wednesday saying he is innocent of allegations against him in a Department of Justice's investigation of FIFA corruption.
Warner was one of 14 people indicted by the Department of Justice after an investigation into corruption in world soccer. According to the report, Warner has been charged with racketeering and bribery offenses.
Warner also served as a FIFA executive committee member and special adviser to the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation. He resigned from his international positions under fire in 2011, as evidence began to emerge that Warner had attempted to buy Caribbean federation officials' votes in that year's FIFA presidential election. In 2013, a CONCACAF report accused Warner of mismanagement, fraud and misappropriated millions in funds.
The Trinidad Daily Express published a statement from Warner on Wednesday.
My attention has been drawn to certain developments in world football which started several hours ago and is at the present time still ongoing.
It has been reported that a number of FIFA officials have been arrested in Switzerland and that at least one raid conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigators in Miami is being executed at what I presume to be CONCACAF offices.
My name is being reported by international media as being one of those persons sought in connection with the probe.
The people of Trinidad and Tobago will know that I quit FIFA and international football more than four years ago and that over the past several years I have recommitted my life to the work of improving the lot of every citizen of every creed and race in this nation. This is where I have let my bucket down.
I have fought fearlessly against all forms of injustice and corruption.
I have been afforded no due process and I have not even been questioned in this matter. I reiterate that I am innocent of any charges. I have walked away from the politics of world football to immerse myself in the improvement of lives in this country where I shall, God willing, die.
The actions of FIFA no longer concern me. I cannot help but note however that these cross- border coordinated actions come at a time when FIFA is assembled for elections to select a President who is universally disliked by the international community. At times such as this it is my experience that the large world powers typically take actions to affect world football. World football is an enormous international business.
That is no longer my concern. My sole focus at this stage of my life is on the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
- Jeremy Woo