Ex-FIFA VP's Defense Strategy: Cite the Onion

Calls satirical article proof of US conspiracy
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2015 12:34 PM CDT

When defending yourself against allegations of corruption, it's best to have your facts straight. Unfortunately for Jack Warner, former vice president of FIFA and member of Parliament in Trinidad, that means avoiding what CNN calls a "spectacular public relations own-goal": gathering evidence from satirical paper the Onion. The 72-year-old, one of several current and former FIFA officials arrested last week, defended himself in a video statement posted online yesterday, citing an Onion article as supposed proof of an American conspiracy, the New York Times reports. Holding a printed copy of the piece from last week, which said FIFA had added a 2015 Summer World Cup in the US to appease officials after the corruption raid, Warner criticized the US for accepting the right to host the games "from the very same organization that they are accusing of being corrupt. That has to be double standards."

The video was removed later in the day, replaced by an edited version that cut all mention of the Onion article; the original video has since been posted by others on YouTube. Warner—who left FIFA in 2011 amid a bribery scandal, the Washington Post reports—went on to say American officials who led the raid on FIFA bosses were driven by the loss of the country’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, "a small country, an Arabic country, a Muslim country." He continued, "I could understand the US embarrassment," but the US should "take your losses like a man." Finally getting to the charges against him, he added, "At the end of the day, all of the allegations against me shall be proven to be unfounded." He also thanked his supporters and, randomly, "Ann-Marie, who sent me breakfast on Thursday morning." (Click for more on the corruption scandal.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.