Former FIFA vice president Jack Warner gave a defiant speech to supporters a day after he was charged in a U.S. corruption case that has led to the arrests of more than a dozen international football officials and businessmen.
Warner left a Trinidad jail by ambulance on Thursday, with judicial officer Ibrahim Ali saying Warner had complained of exhaustion and was not able to face questions from reporters gathered for several hours outside the jail.
Officials within his Independent Liberal Party said in a statement that he would speak at a community meeting on Thursday night, and the 72-year-old appeared in front of supporters in the district he represents as an opposition member of the Trinidad and Tobago Parliament.
Warner said: "If I have been thieving FIFA money for 30 years, who gave me the money? How come he is not charged? Why only persons from Third World countries have been charged?"
Fifa corruption crisis: Jack Warner out dancing hours after leaving prison on medical grounds http://t.co/eP4m9SmlGo pic.twitter.com/KRy0DUSara
- The Telegraph (@Telegraph) May 29, 2015
Warner surrendered to authorities on Wednesday and was granted a $395,000 bond but spent the night in jail. He faces eight counts in the U.S., including conspiracy to defraud and to engage in racketeering. He has not entered a plea and is expected to appear in court in July. A judge ordered Warner to surrender his passport and report to police twice a week.
Warner, who also served as president of CONCACAF, was forced out of FIFA in 2011 over a bribery scandal but has denied any wrongdoing.
Trinidad's attorney general, Garvin Nicholas, said the U.S. has two months to issue a formal extradition request. He said his office has been working with the U.S. Justice Department for about two years on Warner's investigation.
U.S. justice officials allege, among other things, that Warner received three payments totalling $10 million in 2008 from an unidentified, high-ranking FIFA official. They said the money was deposited in a U.S. account controlled by Warner.
Authorities say the money was allegedly offered to secure Warner's vote and help give South Africa the right to host the 2010 World Cup over Morocco. South Africa's sports minister on Thursday denied any wrongdoing by his country's government.
Warner also faced scrutiny from FIFA over a sports complex he built in Trinidad more than a decade ago with financial help from the organisation and whose ownership has been disputed. The Centre of Excellence features a football field, a pool and several meeting halls, including ones named after FIFA president Sepp Blatter and former South Africa President Nelson Mandela.
Messages left with the centre's officials were not returned. The centre regularly hosts conferences, weddings, football matches and other events.
Earlier Thursday, CONCACAF provisionally banned president Jeffrey Webb one day after his indictment on corruption charges.
Webb led the confederation that oversaw football in North, Central America and the Caribbean for FIFA and was one of many officials arrested in Switzerland on Wednesday.
CONCACAF promoted senior vice president Alfredo Hawit of Honduras to replace Webb.
CONCACAF general secretary Enrique Sanz was placed on a leave of absence and replaced by his deputy, American Ted Howard.
The body's executive committee also set up a special committee consisting of the presidents of the three North American countries -- the United States' Sunil Gulati, Mexico's Justino Compean and Canada's Victor Montagliani -- to examine "all of the business operations of the Confederation."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.