Ex-FIFA VP Jack Warner hails US Supreme Court ruling

Ex-FIFA VP Jack Warner.
AP Photo/Shirley Bahadur, file

Former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner says his “nightmare is over,” after the US Supreme Court and a lower court threw out the convictions of two defendants linked to football corruption in September 2023.

According to a New York Times article, the rulings “cast doubt on the legal basis for a host of prosecutions” surrounding those involved in scandals coming out of the December 2015 raids on FIFA officials in Zurich, Switzerland and the September case in which “the two defendants benefited from two recent Supreme Court rulings that had rejected federal prosecutors’ application of the law at play in the soccer cases and offered rare guidance on what is known as honest services fraud.”

Warner said, “I am in firm agreement with the US Supreme Court statement on the matter. I always knew the US were wrong to attack and destroy FIFA and destroy people’s lives just because they didn’t get a World Cup venue,” referring to the US failed 2022 World Cup bid.

“It is utterly ridiculous for people to be imprisoned and to be charged for being a member of a private organization as FIFA, and to be charged by the US government on what they did or did not do during their stay in FIFA,” Warner said.

He said that he always felt that it was an “over-reach and overkill” by the US to lay charges on FIFA officials.

On the Supreme Court’s decisions, Warner expressed confidence in his pending case but said these legal matters did have a negative effect on him.

In June 2011, Warner, who was then provisionally suspended by the world football governing body for alleged corruption, resigned from all his international football posts. He was one of 14 top FIFA officials and corporate executives to be accused of corruption, fraud and money laundering while he was FIFA vice-president. In 2015, Warner was indicted in 29 charges of corruption in the US.

Warner recently said the court’s ruling to toss the convictions of an ex-21st Century Fox executive and sports marketing company on corruption charges in a case involving FIFA has him feeling relieved.