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Warner fooled by spoof article

01 June 2015, 08:57

Port of Spain - Former FIFA vice president Jack Warner renewed his criticism of the United States, where he faces corruption charges, on Sunday by releasing a pair of videotaped comments - one of them based on a story by satirical website The Onion.

"This past week has been a most trying one for me, a most difficult one," Warner said.

Even Sunday wasn't easy, when Warner needed two attempts to get his message across by telling followers that the latest accusations against him stem largely from the U.S. being upset that it did not win the rights to host the 2022 World Cup — which went to Qatar.

In an eight-minute Facebook video, which was quickly deleted after numerous news reports picked up on the gaffe, Warner held up a printout of a fictitious story from The Onion bearing the headline: "FIFA Frantically Announces 2015 Summer World Cup In United States."

The fake story was published on Wednesday, hours after Warner was indicted in the U.S. and arrested and briefly jailed in Trinidad. Warner asked why the story was "two days before the FIFA election" when Sepp Blatter was re-elected as president.

Also Read: Barclays launches review after FIFA probe

Warner asked "if FIFA is so bad why is it the U.S. wants ... the World Cup?" Additionally, Warner said that FIFA is "the very same organization they (the U.S.) are accusing of being corrupt. That has to be double standards."

Later, in the second video, Warner thanked supporters. He said a number have reached out in recent days since the latest scandal broke.

"I could understand the U.S. embarrassment that a small country as Qatar ... could have been able to overcome them this way," Warner said. "I could understand but no one gives them the right to do what they are doing."

Warner has remained in the spotlight in Trinidad for the past several days, making several appearances and continuing in his role as a member of Parliament. He has more public appearances scheduled for this week in Trinidad.

"Do not be too worried about me because at the end of the day all the allegations against me shall be proven to be unfounded," Warner said in the second video. "I have no cause to worry. ... At the end of the day my strength is based on the collective effort and support of all of you."

Warner left FIFA in 2011 after being implicated in a bribery scandal.

- AP


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