British press reports TT$230,000 FIFA pension for Warner

(Trinidad Express) Although Works and Transport Minister Jack Warner insisted on several occasions that he did not receive a salary for his role as vice-president of FIFA, reports in the British press yesterday stated that he stands to benefit from a pension of approximately TT$230,000 a year.

This was revealed in an article published by the UK Guardian.

Another report, published in the Telegraph, referred to a secret report of FIFA’s Ethics Committee which claimed that there was convincing evidence that Warner and former FIFA presidential candidate Qatari Mohamed bin Hammam conspired to bribe voters in the organisation’s presidential election before it suspended them from world soccer’s governing body.

Contacted by the Express for comment yesterday, Fuad Khan vice chairman of the United National Congress (UNC), of which Warner is chairman, said he wanted to err on the side of caution and withhold making a statement on the articles.

“If it is not an official report, I don’t want to comment on something like that,” Khan said.

“Commenting on a secret report (could have serious implications) if it is not true. It would be unfair for me to do so.”

Khan had, only recently, called on all party members to resist rumour mongering, hearsay, and any vilification that may lead to Warner’s conviction as FIFA vice president.

He also called on party members to stand behind Warner and insisted that Warner must be presumed innocent until otherwise proven.

Warner resigned suddenly from his FIFA executive position on Monday.

The surprise resignation came after an investigation was launched by FIFA’s ethics committee into an allegation that he offered bribes of US$40,000 each to members of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) to vote for bin Hammam on June 1.

The article in the UK Guardian states that FIFA has accrued a pension pot of US$16.8 million to pay a pension to all long-serving executive committee members of the world football governing body. Warner, 68, has served as FIFA’s vice-president for 28 consecutive years.

It is expected that Warner will collect the pension payment for as many years as he has served on the executive committee which means that he will continue to be paid until he reaches the age of 96.

In a statement on Monday, FIFA said all ethics committee procedures against Warner have been closed as a consequence of his “self-determined” resignation and that his presumption of innocence has remained intact.

After he was sworn in as a minister last year, Chaguanas West Member of Parliament announced that he would take only one dollar from his ministerial salary of TT$38,000 and donate the rest to charity.

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