Last-placed T&T extinguished the U.S.’s hopes of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia with an improbable 2-1 upset in Port of Spain. The defeat marked the first time since 1986 the Americans will not participate in sport’s biggest showpiece.
And T&T native Warner, whose side were kept out of the 1990 World Cup in similar fashion by the U.S., told a local radio station he couldn’t be happier with the result.
“I have not been in better spirits. This is the happiest day of my life,” Warner said. “It [the win] couldn’t have given me greater joy.”
Warner, a former FIFA Vice President, was a main target of the U.S. Department of Justice’s wide-ranging sting aimed at cracking down on corruption in the sport, and faces charges stemming from his alleged involvement.
And the 74-year-old, who blames the U.S. for turning CONCACAF into a “nightmare,” said T&T’s win was a striking blow to the Americans.
“They have used their government to help to dismember FIFA in a way that is unimaginable. And last night on the field of play Trinidad and Tobago reduced them to their knees,” he said.
Warner, who was in a festive mood, said the national team’s triumph was personal for him.
“And for me personally, it has reduced the U.S. to a laughing stock. Last Sept. 27 when the judge ruled against Jack Warner there was a party in the U.S., they were quite happy,” said Warner, who is currently fighting extradition to the U.S.
“Knowing that this has happened I wanted to go out and party as they partied last September when a judge ruled against me. I wanted to party. This was my personal feeling”.
And he predicted this was the start of the end of U.S. soccer as we know it.
“They will continue to undermine [the World Cup in] Qatar for 2022, but they will not succeed. As far as I am concerned this is the beginning of the end for U.S. football,” he said. “Nobody in CONCACAF likes the U.S.”