Ex-FIFA chief Jack Warner in UK court appeal against corruption charges

Former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner
Image: Jack Warner denies accepting millions of dollars in bribes

Former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner will take his fight against corruption charges in the United States to the highest overseas court in London.

Warner, who lives in Trinidad and Tobago, is fighting extradition to the US and denies accepting millions of dollars in bribes.

US prosecutors allege he has been involved in criminal corrupt practices for more than two decades.

The Supreme Court confirmed to Sky Sports News on Friday that Warner has now been issued an 'appeal as of right' following permission in a lower court.

Warner's case will be heard by the Privy Council and is the court of final appeal for Commonwealth countries, including Trinidad and Tobago, that have retained the right to appeal to the UK Judicial Committee.

A court date has yet to be set.

Jack Warner
Image: FIFA banned Warner from all football activities for life in 2015

Earlier this month, the US Department of Justice claimed that Warner "was promised and received bribe payments totalling $5m" - now the equivalent of £4.3m - in exchange for a vote "in favour of Russia to host the 2018 World Cup".

The indictment states: "In or about and between November 2010 and April 2011, the defendant Jack Warner received a total of approximately $5m, via more than two dozen separate wire transfers, to an account he controlled at Republic Bank in Trinidad and Tobago in the name of the CFU.

"The wire transfers were sent from 10 different shell companies, all of which were registered and maintained bank accounts in offshore jurisdictions, including Cyprus, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands, and were cleared through correspondent accounts located in the United States.

"The shell companies used to pay Warner formed part of a broader network of shell entities used to move money through densely layered transactions between and among offshore accounts.

"Several of the accounts used to wire money to Warner received or sent wire transfers to or from companies based in the United States that performed work on behalf of the 2018 Russia World Cup bid."

Image: Russia 2018 organisers deny wrongdoing

Russia 2018 organisers have denied wrongdoing and said: "We have repeatedly said that our bid was transparent."

Warner, who has consistently maintained his innocence, has yet to comment on the claims in this month's US indictment.

In a statement earlier this month, FIFA said: "It is important to point out that FIFA has itself been accorded victim status in the US criminal proceedings and senior FIFA officials are in regular contact with the US Department of Justice.

"Following the latest indictment, FIFA will ask the DOJ for further information on these matters."

In May 2015, Warner was one of 14 defendants charged in connection with a 24-year scheme to allegedly "enrich themselves through the corruption of international soccer".

The following week, Warner said he feared for his life and would reveal everything he knows, stating he had instructed his lawyers to contact law enforcement officials in his homeland and overseas.

In September 2015, he was banned from all football activities for life by FIFA, more than four years after quitting football.

Warner committed "many and various acts of misconduct continuously and repeatedly", according to world football's governing body's ethics committee.

Sky Sports News has contacted Warner for comment.

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