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Ex-FIFA vice president Jack Warner fooled by Onion article

Last week, former FIFA vice president Jack Warner was among 14 individuals connected to soccer's governing body who were indicted on federal corruption charges.

Warner told reporters he was innocent and, on Sunday, he posted a video message to his Facebook page implying that the U.S. was pressing charges only because it was mad it didn't get either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.

While the alleged conspiracy has gained momentum thanks to Russian President Vladimir Putin hinting the U.S. wants to steal the 2018 World Cup, Warner's use of a satirical website to back his claim only drew laughs from around the soccer world.

During the eight-minute video, which was later removed from his Facebook page, Warner holds a printout from the Onion website with a headline that reads: “FIFA Frantically Announces 2015 Summer World Cup In United States.”

Warner then asks "“if FIFA is so bad why is it the U.S. wants … the World Cup?”

"I made the point to you over and over that all this thing has stemmed from the failed U.S. bid to host the World Cup," he said.

The fake story was published Wednesday hours after U.S. authorities announced their ongoing investigation into corruption among FIFA officials. Warner surrendered to authorities in his native Trinidad and Tobago shortly after the indictments were announced.

Warner also wonders why the story came out just “two days before the FIFA election” when Sepp Blatter was reelected to a fifth presidential term.


UPDATE

12:28 p.m.: This post was updated with information regarding the video being pulled down from Warner's Facebook page.

This post was first published at 10:19 a.m. Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

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