Jack Warner, former vice-president of Fifa (1997-2011) disbarred for life by the International Federation and indicted for corruption by the American justice system which is demanding his extradition, was sentenced to pay more than 220,000 dollars to a Trinidadian entrepreneur by the justice of his country. The courtyard “orders the defenders (Mr Warner and two ociates) to reimburse the plaintiff the sum of 1,505,493 Trinidad Tobago (TT) dollars» (221,000 US dollars) «as well as the interests» since 2018, according to the decision of the Privy Council, the highest Court of Appeal in Trinidad and Tobago.
In this case, businessman Krishna Lalla lent the sum of TT$1.5 million to Mr. Warner in 2007 for his Joao Havelange football academy, named in homage to the former Brazilian president of Fifa. Mr. Warner had promised to repay the sum thanks to a grant of ten million TT dollars that he intended to receive from Fifa, according to the testimony of Mr. Lalla.
Gift in disguise
During the arguments, Mr. Warner’s lawyers argued that this was a “gift» disguised as a commercial transaction for an electoral campaign of the United National Congress (UNC) political party of which Mr. Warner, who was a member of parliament (2007-2015) and Minister of Security (2010-2013), was a member. The football academy, which includes fields, hotel, conference center, reception rooms, swimming pool and gymnasium, was inaugurated in 1999. The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Football (CONCACAF), of which Mr. Warner was president (1990-2011), sued Mr. Warner, believing he was the rightful owner.
Mr Warner was at the center of the corruption scandal which rocked world football’s governing body in 2015 and led to arrests by the FBI in Zurich, prior to the prosecution of several senior officials. The Trinidadian, member of the FIFA executive committee, voted in favor of granting Russia and Qatar the rights to organize the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.