A bitter, angry and defiant Jack Warner came out swinging yesterday in what was a combination of spin apparently intended for domestic political purposes and a dire warning that he fully intends to take some people down with him.
If you were expecting humility and contrition, well, you don't know Jack.
In separate phone interviews yesterday, one (although it almost sounds like there may have been two) with Bloomberg and another with the little-known Starbroek News out of Guyana (subscription required, the bill for which is winging it's way to Huss even as we speak) Warner combined self-pity, vengefulness and his all-too-familiar brand of arrogance in a toxic soup which, if nothing else, makes clear that as far as he's concerned this thing is far from over.
First, some facts:
FIFA solicited Warners' resignation via the simple expedient of showing him 17 pages of evidence against him which has been assembled by Freehs' investigators.
The file was delivered to him last Tuesday, June 14. He reviewed it with his lawyers and he forwarded his resignation on Friday the 17th, although FIFA held the information until Monday morning.
The interesting twist here is that under Swiss law, by which FIFA operates, the organization has no authority to investigate or pronounce any judgement upon anyone other than a FIFA official. Thus, no private deal or arrangement was necessary; his resignation automatically closed the case forever.
Further, Warner says that he will refuse to speak with the investigators because he believes that Freeh is acting on behalf of Blazer and Concacaf lawyer John Collins. And of course as a private citizen with no official connection with FIFA he cannot be compelled to do so.
However, he insists that he will continue to cooperate fully with the Ethics committee and a FIFA statement confirmed it, saying: "Mr Warner will be heard as a witness. He will be investigated as a witness but not as an accused party. He has offered his support to the ethics committee in their continued investigation."
As for why he tendered his resignation, he wants you to know that "This decision is by my own volition and self-determination; albeit it comes during the sequel to the contentious Mohammed bin Hammam meeting in Port of Spain in May with CFU Delegates"
"I am convinced, and I am advised by counsel, that since my actions did not extend beyond facilitating the meeting
that gave Mr bin Hammam an opportunity to pursue his aborted bid for the FIFA presidency, I would be fully exonerated by any objective arbiter.
"I have, nonetheless, arrived at the decision to withdraw from FIFA affairs in order to spare FIFA, CONCACAF and, in particular, CFU and its membership, from further acrimony and divisiveness arising from this and related issues."
"I am gratified that FIFA has acknowledged my service to international and regional football over several decades"
"I have lost my enthusiasm to continue. The general secretary that I had employed, who worked with me for 21 years, with the assistance of elements of FIFA has sought to undermine me in ways that are unimaginable.”
“This is giving the impression that FIFA is sanitising itself. I’ve been hung out to dry continually and I’m not prepared to take that."
Got it now?
He's the victim of a conspiracy. He didn't do anything. He just set up a meeting. He didn't know anything about the money. He's only resigning because his heart is broken and he wants to spare CONCACAF and the CFU any further embarrassment.
I do hope you're all wearing your hip boots today. It's getting pretty deep.
And now that Warner is officially done with football, he wants you to know that The Man, The Mission and The Hour have met:
"It is my sincere hope that CONCACAF will achieve unity under its established statutes, beginning with formal recognition of Lisle Austin as Acting President. We will only succeed if we are governed by rules and laws and not by grudges”
“It is essential that all Caribbean nations, and others within CONCACAF stand up to ensure that we preserve, in Mr. Austin, a strong voice for reform and for the interests of the CFU.”
He forgot to mention "transparency", but he can be forgiven - it's been a tough few days.
Still, Jack does admit that all of this could have been avoided.
By not taking all that money from Bin Hammam? No, he doesn't know anything about all of that.
"Had we announced in Miami [the] Concacaf support for Blatter [in the Fifa presidential elections], all this would never have happened".
Because of course then Blatter would have had no need to engineer this massive conspiracy against him.
Furthermore, although of course he knows nothing about any money, "It's not unusual for such things to happen and gifts have been around throughout the history of Fifa"
"What's happening now for me is hypocrisy."
“At the end of the day I don’t want to be seen to be vengeful. I am saying over time history will judge Mr Blatter...I don’t know who’s a friend and who’s a foe...In retrospect possibly my friends, who I thought of as my friends, have been foes and possibly my foes have been friends. In fullness of time I’ll be able to see better who was foe and who was friend.”
Shedding a tear yet? Feeling his pain? Sharing his heartache?
Doesn't matter, really. He's not really spouting this stuff for you and I; it's intended for the folks back home.
He doesn't care what we think; he never did.