Former top football administrator Jack Warner is feeling a sense of vindication over the failure of the United States to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Trinidad and Tobago defeated the United States 2-1 on Tuesday night, at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva – a result which saw the United States finish in fifth-place in the six-team CONCACAF Zone Final Round (ahead of TT).
The top three teams – Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama, earned automatic spots to Russia while Honduras will have to meet Australia in an inter-confederation playoffs next month, with a place at the World Cup at stake.
Warner, in a radio interview yesterday, admitted, “This is the happiest day of my life. This country has been able to bring the USA to its knees, couldn’t have given me greater joy. They have reduced football in the CONCACAF to a nightmare.
“They wouldn’t see Russia in 2018,” Warner said. “They continue to undermine Qatar for 2022, but they wouldn’t succeed. And, as far as I’m concerned, this is the beginning of the end of US football.”
Warner, a former president of the CONCACAF region, continued, “God doh sleep. Nobody in CONCACAF likes the US.”
Warner, who resigned from all football activities in 2011 following the infamous cash for votes scandal, is currently fighting to avoid extradition to the US after he was indicted by the US Department of Justice on corruption charges while serving as FIFA vice-president.
Asked for his views on the future of Trinidad and Tobago football, Warner replied, “First of all, I think it has shown the nation and, moreso, the football fraternity and (coach) Dennis Lawrence that he has to rely more and more on his local players and build from within, and that the time has come when we can no longer rely on the overseas players who don’t seem to have the commitment or the wherewithal to carry us forward. And that has been proven beyond a doubt.
“Secondly, it has proven that the time has come to start building for 2022, and begin with the team that has made this country and this region proud,” he added. “Third of all, for me personally, it has reduced the US to a laughing stock.”