He said that the resignation was an act of pure self-preservation to escape FIFA’s probe against him.
“He jumped before he was pushed”, Manning said. “Resigning was neither noble nor self-sacrificial…Had he not resigned, FIFA’s Ethics Committee would have pursued the charges against him and he might have been found guilty,” Manning added in a statement sent from the PNM East constituency. “He would then have had to be fired from the Cabinet.”
The statement added “His resignation might therefore be construed as a confession of guilt. The whole world knows it. Nobody is being fooled. Warner is now stripped bare for all to see. He stands in naked disgrace before the entire international community. But through him, T&T is being humiliated, because he remains a minister in our Cabinet…He is very aware of the harm being done to the nation, but hangs on to office, carelessly eroding T&T’s hard-earned global reputation—it is selfishness of the most abominable kind.”
Calling for the Prime Minister to remove Warner from Government, Manning was also quoted in the statement as saying:
“I join with my colleagues in the PNM in calling on the Commissioner of Police to relentlessly pursue information from FIFA, regarding the entry of large sums of US into T&T.” Saying FIFA must not be allowed to stonewall local investigations, Manning added: “I therefore suggest that the commissioner seek the collaboration of Interpol in resolving this matter. “We have agreements in place for that level of co-operation,” he said. “FIFA cannot be immune from investigations, whilst crimes are being committed within this most disreputable organisation.”
Manning said he intended to suggest a course of action to PNM’s Parliamentary Caucus to present in the new term of Parliament concerning Warner’s behaviour, “because we must completely distance ourselves from the FIFA culture of cronyism and corruption. I suggest that, if it has the courage and the will, the Government could begin the process of repairing T&T’s damaged international reputation by moving with dispatch to table a resolution at the United Nations. Manning suggested this should call for honest, transparent governance in international sport, starting with football.”
Saying Warner must not be allowed “to run rampant as he did in FIFA,” Manning said Warner was “already the loosest of cannons in government…Yet Warner is being hailed as a hero by the partisan crowd,” he added. “What kind of example are we setting to T&T’s youth in the acceptance of such behaviour at the highest levels of our society? In their hearts, every citizen knows the truth, including his most ardent supporters…The Prime Minister and her Cabinet know it more than anyone else. Yet they allow this country’s reputation to be trampled upon as though it were a dirty rag…not one them is prepared to put country before self and call for Warner’s removal.”
(Parts of this article were written with content submitted in a Trinidad Guardian)