Fifa: Jack Warner banned for life from football activities

Jack Warner
Jack Warner has not been involved in football since 2011 when he left Fifa following a bribery scandal

Former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner has been banned from football for life.

The 72-year-old Trinidadian is the former head of Caribbean and North and Central American football (Concacaf), but quit Fifa in 2011.

He is fighting extradition to the US on corruption charges and denies accepting millions of dollars in bribes.

Warner committed "many and various acts of misconduct continuously and repeatedly" said the football world governing body's ethics committee.

In a televised address in Trinidad, Jack Warner said he feared for his life

Fifa's ruling follows its own investigation into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which began looking at Warner's activities in January 2015.

On Tuesday, Fifa said Warner had been found guilty of violating the organisation's code of ethics several times.

A statement read: "In his positions as a football official, he was a key player in schemes involving the offer, acceptance, and receipt of undisclosed and illegal payments, as well as other money-making schemes."

More on Fifa's corruption crisis
Fifa corruption crisis: Key questions answeredWho is Jack Warner?
Who are the indicted Fifa officials?Blatter & Platini investigated by Fifa ethics committee

Last week, Swiss prosecutors started criminal proceedings against Fifa president Sepp Blatter over an "unfavourable" contract - thought to refer to a 2005 TV rights deal between Fifa and Warner.

On Tuesday, Warner emailed the Press Association saying: "I do not believe however that this will serve as the distraction to Fifa's present problems as Fifa wishes it to be.

"Given what is happening in Zurich with Blatter I wish to say that there is no such thing as coincidence."

Warner - who was one of football's most powerful figures and whose support was seen as crucial for any World Cup host bid - was one of 14 current or former Fifa officials and associates who were indicted by United States authorities in May on bribery and racketeering charges.

US prosecutors want to put Warner on trial and allege he has been involved in criminal corrupt practices for more than two decades.

In June 2015, a BBC investigation found evidence of bribes paid to Warner.

Meanwhile, Eduardo Li - one of the Fifa officials arrested in Zurich in May - has had his extradition to the United States approved.

The Costa Rican is accused of taking bribes in connection with the sale of marketing rights for World Cup 2018 qualifying games.

The former president of the Costa Rican Football Federation now has 30 days to appeal against the decision to allow his extradition, the Swiss Federal Office of Justice said.

Jack Warner: The US charge sheet

  • Accused of racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering and bribery
  • From the early 1990s, he allegedly "began to leverage his influence and exploit his official positions for personal gain"
  • Allegedly accepted a $10m (£6.6m) bribe from South African officials in return for voting to award them the 2010 World Cup
  • Allegedly bribed officials with envelopes each containing $40,000 (£26,000) in cash; when one demurred, he allegedly said: "There are some people here who think they are more pious than thou. If you're pious, open a church, friends. Our business is our business"

What next for Fifa? Analysis by BBC sports news reporter Alex Capstick

"This lifetime ban won't come as a big surprise football fans around the world because he is already a discredited man within football.

"Sepp Blatter at Fifa headquarters. He arrived early on Tuesday morning as he did on Monday - business as usual. He has told staff that he has done absolutely nothing wrong.

"He may become the subject of an ethics committee investigation himself - they are deciding on their next course of action.

"If they do investigate him and they do find him guilty of any wrongdoing they will suspend him. But that could take days, it could take weeks."

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