(Reuters) – Trinidadian Jack Warner, once one of the most powerful men in world soccer, has been banned from all football-related activities for life, the ethics committee of the global governing body FIFA said on Tuesday.
Warner, 72, was one of 14 soccer officials and sports marketing executives indicted in the United States on May 27 on bribery, money laundering and wire fraud charges involving more than $150 million in payments.
In the latest twist in the corruption scandal, Swiss authorities said last week they were investigating FIFA President Sepp Blatter on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and misappropriation of funds.
The FIFA ethics committee said Warner was investigated following an inquiry into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. The tournaments were awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively in December 2010 by the FIFA executive committee, of which Warner was a member.
Warner was found to have committed “many and various acts of misconduct continuously and repeatedly during his time as an official in different high-ranking and influential positions at FIFA and CONCACAF,” the committee said.
“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,” it said.
Warner was found guilty of violating ethics code articles on general rules of conduct, loyalty, duty of disclosure, conflicts of interest, the offering and acceptance of gifts and of failing to collaborate with the ethics committee.
Warner is the former president of CONCACAF, the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, a post he held from 1990 to 2011. He sat on FIFA’s all-powerful executive committee for 28 years.
He is currently in his native Trinidad and Tobago, where he is fighting extradition to the United States.
In 2006, FIFA’s executive committee expressed disapproval at Warner’s conduct after following the alleged resale of World Cup tickets and said he should be more “prudent” in the future.
Warner resigned from his posts when he was placed under investigation by the ethics committee in 2011 over a cash-for-votes scandal in the run-up to that year’s FIFA presidential election.
The same scandal also led to a life ban for Qatari Mohamed Bin Hammam, who had planned to stand against Blatter. The case against Warner was subsequently dropped by the ethics committee as he was no longer involved in football.