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Mid-Day Ticker: Warner refusing to speak to FIFA, Crew’s Williams suspended and more

Jack Warner (Getty) 


It can only go from bad to worse for FIFA and its continued war against corruption.

Currently suspended FIFA vice president Jack Warner claims he has no intention of meeting with investigators looking into the bribery allegations surrounding the troubled organization.

Warner, along with Mohammad Bin Hammam, have been accused of paying bribes up to $1 million to Caribbean Football Unions (CFU) associations. Up to 18 of the 25 CFU associations alleged to have been paid or offered bribes of $40,000 have refused FIFA's request to travel to Miami to provide evidence. The associations interestingly also called for FIFA to replace the former FBI director Louis Freeh as lead investigator.

Warner and Bin Hammamm have both been suspended as the bribery investigation takes place, however the pair are denying any wrongdoing in the case.  

Here are some other stories to keep your Thursday rolling along:


Columbus Crew midfielder Josh Williams has been suspended by the MLS commissioner Don Garber after testing positive for a prohibited performance enhancing substance.

The punishment allocated for Williams is a 10-game suspension along with a 10% annual pay cut this season.  Williams, 23, is not allowed to take part in any competition for the Crew during his suspension.

The former Cleveland State captain signed for Columbus in September of 2010 but has yet to play a competitive match for the Crew, a team he has supported since its inaugural game in 1996.


Miroslav Klose has completed his switch to Serie A outfit Lazio today after the club confirmed that the German international came on a free transfer for Bayern Munich.

Klose struggled through the previous season with the Bundesliga giants, scoring just one goal in 20 appearances and will be looking forward to the fresh challenge of Serie A.

Galatasary and Valencia were said to be interested in the veteran striker's services but Lazio, a club with Europa League soccer for next season, prevailed in bringing Klose home to the Stadio Olimpico.


 The managerial merry-go-round continues to spin, and its latest participant in Wigan's Roberto Martinez.

The Spanish head coach enjoyed an exciting season at the bottom of the table, Martinez and Wigan eventually survived the drop and the club would fight on for another year in the Premier League.  It may be forced to do so, however, without its manager.

His success at the club has turned the heads of those at Aston Villa who are seeking a candidate for the currently vacant manager job.  

Gerard Houllier, former Villa boss, stepped down from the hot seat last month after struggling through the previous season with the club and his own personal health issues.

Lately, other managers such as Everton's David Moyes, Fulham's Mark Hughes and even former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez was thought to be high up on the list.  

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan remains confident that Martinez will decide to stay at the DW Stadium next season, but was quick to laud Aston Villa's professional approach for his employee and granted it permission to speak with him.

The new managerial decision will play a key role in deciding the future of the American players at the club such as GK Brad Guzan and defender Eric Lichaj.  Michael Bradley spent the latter half of the season at the Villains and may be keen on a return, depending on the coaching situation.


In related news, current Aston Villa winger Ashley Young has reportedly opened talks with Manchester United after it has become apparent that the English international wants out of Villa Park this summer.

United are said to be the front-runners for Youngs signature with fierce rivals Liverpool trailing not far behind, but Young said himself that he is looking to play at the highest level and that rules out Liverpool who finished the season in 6th place and without European soccer for next season.

Young has netted 61 goals in 303 appearances for the Villains since switching over from Watford for £10 million.  And with a deal said to be around the £15 million mark, his current club can expect to make a decent profit from his sale.

Young is said to be eager to finalize a deal for his future before the weekend, when he will be getting married.

Manchester United are set to officially complete the signing of 19-year-old Phil Jones from Blackburn, who had a stand-out year at the Northwest club.  His deal is supposedly around the same mark as Young's, and it looks like Sir Alex Ferguson is wasting no time this summer is bolstering his squad.


What do you think of the latest FIFA corruption update?  How will Klose do in Serie A?  Young at United? 


  1. I hope this means Warner and the 20 (out of 25) or so CFU heads that are refusing to talk with FIFA are digging their own graves.

    If anyone wants to read more about this check out Bill Archer on BigSoccer. Guy has done an excellent job tracking this story.

  2. Geez, just a little partisan aren’t we? Look, like Louis Freeh or don’t like him but there are a couple of things to know about him and FEEBIES:
    –Freeh (as an agent) turned himself in for losing his government phone (ie: he reported himself for committing a violation and possible suspension). He has a reputation as a boy scout, as “Mr. Clean” and being ethically pure. Not saying he was a great director or I liked all his decisions, only that the ONLY people who suspected he was corrupt or partisan or playing heavy favorites were really extreme conservatives.
    –FBI agents, as a rule, tend to be real purists and hard-a**es. They don’t have to stay local and work with the population so they can afford to view the law as the law, no need to bend it or make exceptions. This is an agency where all guys wear ties, white shirts were never out of style, no-one looks stylish or like the FBI appears in the movies.
    –A case like this (corruption and bribery on a white collar level) is something that FBI agents and SACs have for breakfast. In the law enforcement community there’s a joke that you’re not a real lawman if you have get permission from a supervisor first in order to make an arrest (which is what FBI agents have to do) but it was an agency that is superb at white collar and money stuff. If you step away from the partisanship, it wouldn’t matter who you appointed from the FBI (from Freeh to Pickard to a lowly field agent), they’d all be over-qualified for this assignment and all very straight-arrow types.

  3. Two possibilities here:

    1. Under what investigatory law does FIFA operate? For instance, some of FIFA’s demands for WC hosts were in violate of US law. It’s not like there’s a court with police that send you to jail if you don’t cooperate. Warner would have to be in violation of some T&T law for him to be arrested or jailed or held in contempt in a court of law. Now, FIFA can suspend him but he’d probably take FIFA to court. So someone like FIFA (that crosses international borders), the ability to compel is different then the ability to require by law or enforce by law.

    2. It’s possible a deal has been done with Blatter (Warner refuses to cooperate, investigators say “golly gee, no proof” and Blatter dismisses it all then Warner comes back and delivers payback and then some to the USSF). Why do I say this? Warner had emails that were incriminating about Blatter, he originally said he’d reveal them and now he’s refusing to. Either he never had them at all (so has nothing to show) or he does and now has a reason not to embarrass Blatter. My vote is: Blatter told him “you don’t show the emails, I’ll forget about this attempt to buy CONCACAF votes for Bin Hammamd, you keep your position in CONCACAF and just be more discrete the next time.”). But hey, I’m just a cynic.

  4. Well of course the accused bribe-takers are going to refuse to talk. Unlike a government, FIFA can’t subpoena them, so they can go on their merry way and hope the whole thing blows over. I desperately want to believe that in appointing a respected outsider like Freeh, FIFA either (1) realized it had to do something serious, or (2) thought that a name like Freeh would give the appearance of a serious investigation, and will be shocked to discover that they have put in motion something they didn’t anticipate. Either way, football wins, and the crooks lose.

  5. It’s nice to know that unsupported, baseless accusations are common beyond the realm of the Bradley family.

  6. Although I agree, you could argue for circumstances.

    He got tested positive for a drug enhancer which directly reflects his ability on the pitch.

    A DUI is not directly related to the league. And as for the coke habit for an owner – what are you going to do? Ban the owner?

  7. Martinez is widely seen as a fantastic up and coming young manager who constantly gets more out of Wigan than they deserve. Keeping up Wigan without a budget is a fantastic achievement.

  8. So MLS doesn’t suspend Peter Vermes, a coach, when he gets a DUI or Oscar de la Hoya, an owner, when he has a coke habit, but a player at the bottom of the roster tests positive and suddenly he’s out a third of the season and a big chunk of his salary?

    I’m not condoning Williams’ drug use. As Bob Marley said, If he’s guilty he should pay. But MLS needs to hold management to the same standard it holds the players.

  9. I suspect in the end Fifa will have no options other than suspending Warner. We’ve seen that no body has power over FIFA so really I doubt nothing can happen outside of FIFA punishments.

  10. but if you play for a team like LA and recently had a stint with a club like AC Milan that is known for “magically” revitalizing careers in the mid 30’s, you are never going to be tested.

  11. Not sure what I think about Luis Freeh… the guy did uncover the fact that the President that appointed him (clinton) was involved in the massive Chinese money donations to the Democratic party and he tried to get a special investigation going but was rejected by Attorney General (another Clinton appointment) Reno. Not sure what else he could have done and to be honest most politicians probably would not have taken the cause as far as he did considering it was political suicide.
    I guess he isn’t the type to blindly follow orders so that would actually be a breath of fresh air in Fifa.

  12. How can you refuse to offer evidence in an investigation? It is no surprise FIFA is in shambles when it can’t get evidence from the accused.

  13. Keeping Wigan up is a much great accomplishment then you realize. They are a small club with no money and a tiny fanbase. People in England are amazed they have survived this long in the Premier League. That is a credit to Martinez.

  14. martinez has done really well for a club with such a tiny budget. i think wigan was at the bottom of the league, attendance wise.

  15. Do you have to be in the gameday squad to get drug-tested? Williams appears to have only made the bench the 1st game of the season and then out with an injury since.

  16. if i remember correctly, martinez (when he was working as an analyst for the World Cup) thought very highly of Michael Bradley. Hope that deal can get done and MB can prosper under his wing.


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