Warner calls on Caribbean to back Blatter

MIAMI - Barred CONCACAF president Jack Warner was accused of breaching his suspension on Tuesday after reminding Caribbean Football Union members they should vote for incumbent Sepp Blatter in FIFA's presidential election.

Warner, who was provisionally suspended on Sunday pending an ethics committee investigation into allegations of bribery, asked the members not to protest against his suspension during Wednesday's FIFA congress in Zurich.

"At our last meeting we agreed as a Union to support the incumbent Joseph Sepp Blatter in his quest to regain the Presidency," Warner wrote in a letter.

"I wish to assure you nothing has changed - our mandate was set then and despite it all we must fulfil it."

Blatter is standing unopposed in the election after Mohamed Bin Hammam dropped out of the race, and was later suspended by FIFA along with Warner.

Warner's position is a surprising one given that he had called for FIFA members to "stop Blatter" as recently as Sunday.

It also raised questions about whether, in writing the letter and giving advice to members, the Trinidadian has breached the suspension which bars him from 'football activities' at FIFA, international and national level.

Chuck Blazer, the CONCACAF general secretary, told Reuters he had already reported Warner for other, unspecified, breaches by Warner of his suspension.

"That's a violation of his suspension from all football activities," Blazer said of the letter.

He later told reporters in Zurich that "we have clear evidence of a violation of his suspension and we have reported that to the FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke."

PROTEST ACTION

On Monday, CONCACAF announced that Lisle Austin of Barbados was taking over from Warner as interim president.

Although no protest had been announced or even hinted at by any CONCACAF member associations Warner urged CFU members to attend the Zurich congress.

"I, Jack Warner, a servant and believer in the principles of this beautiful game do humbly beseech you, my brothers and sisters from the Caribbean Football Union to desist from initiating any protest action at tomorrow's FIFA Congress.

"My family, our foundation has been rocked and our strength is being tested but I urge you for the good of the game to attend tomorrow's Congress and fulfill your duties in representing the Caribbean," wrote Warner.

"I know many of you are hurting and it is only human nature that you would want to demonstrate your anger but despite all we must not fuel a fire set by others to incinerate all that we strive for.

"Daily we are subjected to attacks of division. Do not lose faith, for in life good will always prevail; there is no better education than adversity and when this is over we will rise from the ashes and like the phoenix of legend, we will soar once more.

"We are being chastised for our belief in fair play and freedom of speech but let not your heart be daunted. We are Caribbean people, our history is tattooed with stories of struggle, but we have always risen," he wrote.


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