Ex-FIFA official uses satirical article from the Onion to blast corruption charges
Indicted Ex-FIFA vice president Jack Warner defends himself against corruption charges with parody news site
Former FIFA vice president Jack Warner took to Facebook and YouTube Sunday with an impassioned 8-minute-long video message explaining why 14 international soccer officials had been indicted for corruption by the U.S. Department of Justice.
According to Warner, it wasn't an investigation into decades worth of alleged bribes and shady dealings that lead the U.S. to probe FIFA or file charges against him — it was simply America being a sore loser.
And he had evidence to back his claim... or so he thought.
In the original version of his video, 72-year-old Warner holds up a print-out of an article from the fake news website The Onion called "FIFA Frantically Announces 2015 Summer World Cup In United States."
Warner goes on to imply that the U.S. is taking action against FIFA out of embarrassment over losing its 2022 World cup bid to Qatar, which he describes as "a small country, an Arabic country, a Muslim country."
"I could understand their pain, but no one gives them the right to do what they are doing," he says of the U.S. "No one country has any divine right to host the World Cup, and if the FIFA authorities in their wisdom — or lack of it — choose to select Qatar for the World Cup, then so be it. Take your losses like a man and go."
As a music track raises in the background, Warner holds up the Onion article once more and states that the U.S. appears to have "double standards" when it come to corruption.
Just two hours after the video was posted, it was pulled from Warner's social media channels and replaced with a version that omits any references to the parody article.
This didn't stop the amount of online mockery at his expense, however.
Several rips of the video have been uploaded to YouTube after Warner's original came down, and they continued to circulate Monday on Twitter, Facebook and in mainstream news outlets.
There really are few things people online seem to like more than high-profile individuals and publications being duped by well-known parody sites.
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FIFA?src=hash">#FIFA</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/jackWarner?src=hash">#jackWarner</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Onion?src=hash">#Onion</a> <a href="http://t.co/2M2luHLgx1">pic.twitter.com/2M2luHLgx1</a>—@PNokio1
After spending a night in a Trinidad and Tobago jail, Warner appeared in court Thursday where a judge set his bail at $2.5 million Trinidadian dollars.
He was released on bail and left under the conditions that he surrender his passport and report to police twice a week.
He did not enter a plea on Thursday and is scheduled to appear in court again July 12.