Trinidad opposition seeks Jack Warner resignation

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (AP) — The leader of Trinidad’s main opposition party is seeking the resignation of former world soccer vice president Jack Warner, who currently serves as the island’s national security minister.

Opposition leader Keith Rowley said late Friday that he will present the issue for debate in Parliament next week.

“Mr. Warner cannot continue to serve as a minister of government,” Rowley said.

His comments come after CONCACAF’s ethics and integrity committee released a report stating Warner and the former secretary general of the Confederation of North and Central American and Caribbean Football enriched themselves through fraud during their terms with the organization.

The committee based its findings on documents and interviews with dozens of people.

Warner is a former vice president of the world soccer body FIFA who oversaw North American and Caribbean soccer for 21 years. He resigned in June 2011 to avoid investigation into a bribery scandal.

A year later, Trinidad Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar named Warner national security minister, surprising the public and many government officials.

As minister, Warner has drawn sharp criticism for seeking to stop the release of crime reports and statistics and for dispatching troops and riot police to remove a protest camp built by environmentalists.

Persad-Bissessar, who has been a staunch Warner supporter, said Friday that she had to read the CONCACAF report before making any decisions.

Warner said late Friday that he had not read the report.

“As far as I am aware it is baseless and malicious,” he said in a statement. “I left CONCACAF and turned my back on football two years ago. Since then I have had no interest in any football-related matter.”

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