Embattled former Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association (CONCACAF) and FIFA vice president, Austin ‘Jack’ Warner has launched a US$40 million counter lawsuit against the regional football governing body and United States Soccer Federation (USSF) president Sunil Gulati.
Warner’s counter comes just days after CONCACAF had announced that legal action, in the form of a US$20m lawsuit, was filed against Warner and former CONCACAF general secretary Chuck Blazer.
In a statement released on Tuesday Warner, accused the body of persistent defamation and vowed to get justice.
“I have left the CONCACAF since 2011. Why the CONCACAF will not leave my family and me alone is simply mind-boggling. CONCACAF football is at its lowest today and the current threat to sue Warner and Blazer for 20 million US is nothing more than a distraction to shift its pathetic current state away from the management of this Confederation,” the release stated.
Warner is also the target of an extradition request by the United States to answer charges of corruption and money laundering He has accused CONCACAF of “vindictiveness” and claims the actions against him stem in part from the inability of the USA to acquire the hosting rights for the 2022 World Cup. He is currently fighting extradition.
“All these false allegations filed in an American court simply because the USA did not obtain the votes to host a FIFA World Cup will fall to nought,” Warner said.
“I have my name to protect and my family to defend and that I will do to the very end.
I have been slaughtered for the past six years and have remained silent ignoring my legal options to respond to the atrocities that have been perpetrated against me by men of the lower ilk. And so the time has come for me to respond.”
CONCACAF, has claimed it was victimized by Chuck Blazer, and Warner.
Both men were charged in a FIFA bribery scandal.
In papers filed earlier this week in federal court in Brooklyn, CONCACAF accuses Warner and Blazer of making a fortune through embezzlement — allegations that mirror those in a sprawling U.S. criminal investigation that has resulted in charges against several top soccer officials.
The suit accuses the pair of negotiating bribes and kickbacks in connection with lucrative broadcasting rights for tournaments including CONCACAF’s Gold Cup championship.
“There can be no doubt that Warner and Blazer victimized CONCACAF, stealing and defrauding it out of tens of millions of dollars in brazen acts of corruption for their own personal benefit at the expense of the entire CONCACAF region,” the suit says.
Blazer has pleaded guilty and cooperated in the criminal probe.