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Ex-FIFA VP Jack Warner resigns as Trinidad minister amid fraud inquiry

Jack-Warner---a

Former FIFA vice president Jack Warner

Former FIFA vice president Jack Warner has resigned as Trinidad and Tobago’s national security minister, two days after an investigation accused him of “fraudulent” management of the CONCACAF soccer confederation.

Mr. Warner stepped down as CONCACAF president in 2011 after a “cash-for-votes” scandal.

He was accused on Friday at a congress of soccer officials in Panama of tricking the body that represents soccer in North America, Central America and the Caribbean out of ownership of the $26m Centre of Excellence in Port of Spain.

He is also facing an FBI probe over a separate issue.

“I have today accepted the offer of resignation of the Minister of National Security, Mr. Jack Warner from the Cabinet of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago,” Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said in a statement.

Pressure on Mr. Warner to resign built up over the weekend after one of the major partners in Trinidad’s four-member party coalition government called for Warner’s firing.Jack-Warner

The prime minister, who returned to Trinidad on Saturday night from visits to the United States and Canada, made the announcement after summoning her Cabinet to a meeting at her private residence on Sunday.

Mr. Warner left the meeting without speaking to reporters.

CONCACAF’s congress in Panama was presented with a detailed report into allegations of financial mismanagement by Warner and ex-general secretary Chuck Blazer, based on documents and interviews with 38 people.

“I have recounted a sad and sorry tale in the life of CONCACAF, a tale of abuse of position and power, by persons who assisted in bringing the organisation to profitability, but who enriched themselves at the expense of their very own organisations,” said David Simmons, a former Barbados chief justice, who heads CONCACAF’s Integrity Committee.

The report found that Mr. Warner, 70, did not disclose to CONCACAF or world soccer body FIFA that a $26m Centre of Excellence was built on land owned by his companies.

Mr. Warner walked away from soccer in 2011 and avoided facing a FIFA Ethics Commission inquiry relating to bribery allegations surrounding the body’s presidential election.

He was accused of helping Mohamed Bin Hammam of Qatar to bribe Caribbean soccer officials so they would back a bid by Bin Hamman to become FIFA’s president.

Mr. Bin Hammam and Mr. Warner both have repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

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Jack-Warner---a

Former FIFA vice president Jack Warner

Former FIFA vice president Jack Warner has resigned as Trinidad and Tobago’s national security minister, two days after an investigation accused him of “fraudulent” management of the CONCACAF soccer confederation.

Mr. Warner stepped down as CONCACAF president in 2011 after a “cash-for-votes” scandal.

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He was accused on Friday at a congress of soccer officials in Panama of tricking the body that represents soccer in North America, Central America and the Caribbean out of ownership of the $26m Centre of Excellence in Port of Spain.

He is also facing an FBI probe over a separate issue.

“I have today accepted the offer of resignation of the Minister of National Security, Mr. Jack Warner from the Cabinet of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago,” Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said in a statement.

Pressure on Mr. Warner to resign built up over the weekend after one of the major partners in Trinidad’s four-member party coalition government called for Warner’s firing.Jack-Warner

The prime minister, who returned to Trinidad on Saturday night from visits to the United States and Canada, made the announcement after summoning her Cabinet to a meeting at her private residence on Sunday.

Mr. Warner left the meeting without speaking to reporters.

CONCACAF’s congress in Panama was presented with a detailed report into allegations of financial mismanagement by Warner and ex-general secretary Chuck Blazer, based on documents and interviews with 38 people.

“I have recounted a sad and sorry tale in the life of CONCACAF, a tale of abuse of position and power, by persons who assisted in bringing the organisation to profitability, but who enriched themselves at the expense of their very own organisations,” said David Simmons, a former Barbados chief justice, who heads CONCACAF’s Integrity Committee.

The report found that Mr. Warner, 70, did not disclose to CONCACAF or world soccer body FIFA that a $26m Centre of Excellence was built on land owned by his companies.

Mr. Warner walked away from soccer in 2011 and avoided facing a FIFA Ethics Commission inquiry relating to bribery allegations surrounding the body’s presidential election.

He was accused of helping Mohamed Bin Hammam of Qatar to bribe Caribbean soccer officials so they would back a bid by Bin Hamman to become FIFA’s president.

Mr. Bin Hammam and Mr. Warner both have repeatedly denied wrongdoing.