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Banned FIFA official Warner loses extradition appeal, vows to fight on

Banned former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner has lost his appeal against extradition to the United States but has vowed to fight on against corruption charges.

Warner, one of the members of FIFA’s executive committee who voted to hand Qatar the hosting rights to the 2022 World Cup, was once one of the game’s key powerbrokers.

The verdict by the Privy Council in London, Trinidad and Tobago’s highest court of appeal, opens the way to Warner being extradited over seven years after the U.S issued an extradition order.

Trinidadian Warner was at the centre of the 2015 corruption scandal which engulfed world football’s governing body and led to FBI arrests in Zurich and the prosecution of several top officials.

Warner was indicted by the United States Department of Justice in May, 2015 and an arrest warrant was issued.

The former president of CONCACAF, the governing body for North and Central America and the Caribbean, faces charges related to “wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering”.

Warner’s sons Darryll and Daryan both pleaded guilty to charges as part of the DOJ indictment.

The 79-year-old Warner was banned for life from football activities by FIFA’s ethics committee in September, 2015.

“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,” the ethics committee had said.

In a statement, Warner said that the legal moves against him and others were linked to the United States and England losing their bids to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

“The United States of America and the United Kingdom who had previously hosted the World Cup were not selected despite sustained lobbying. They were therefore not pleased and thereafter began a campaign against FIFA which resulted in the arrest and prosecution of several Executive Committee members of FIFA,” he said.

Warner repeated his objection to extradition on the grounds that he had “no banking account nor property in the United States” but said he had asked his legal team to continue to defend him.

“I have advised them to continue to press my case on the three remaining stages of these proceedings. I have lived in this country for nearly eighty years, and I am confident that I will continue to receive the love, affection, and respect that people from all walks of life have always extended to me. I am certain I will prevail in the end,” he said.

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