Fifa vice-president Jack Warner resigns
Fifa vice-president Jack Warner has resigned, world football's governing body has confirmed.
"As a consequence of Mr Warner's resignation, all ethics committee procedures against him have been closed and the presumption of innocence is maintained," said a Fifa statement.
Warner was suspended pending an investigation into bribery allegations.
He and fellow Fifa member Mohamed Bin Hammam are alleged to have paid bribes of £600,000 to Caribbean associations.
Chuck Blazer, general secretary of the Concacaf federation Warner had been president of, alleged that violations of Fifa's code of ethics occurred during a meeting organised by Bin Hammam and Warner in May.
In a statement, Warner said: "I am convinced, and I am advised by counsel, that since my actions did not extend beyond facilitating the meeting that gave Mr Bin Hammam an opportunity to pursue his aborted bid for the Fifa presidency, I would be fully exonerated by any objective arbiter.
"I have, nonetheless, arrived at the decision to withdraw from Fifa affairs in order to spare Fifa, Concacaf and, in particular, CFU and its membership, from further acrimony and divisiveness arising from this and related issues."
“The Fifa executive committee, the Fifa president and the Fifa management thank Mr Warner and wish him well for the future”
Warner also told Bloomberg press agency he felt he had been "hung out to dry" and insisted the giving of gifts has been part of Fifa culture during his 30 years in the organisation.
"It's not unusual for such things to happen and gifts have been around throughout the history of Fifa," he said. "What's happening now for me is hypocrisy."
He added: "I have lost my enthusiasm to continue. The general secretary that I had employed, who worked with me for 21 years, with the assistance of elements of Fifa has sought to undermine me in ways that are unimaginable.
"This is giving the impression that Fifa is sanitising itself. I've been hung out to dry continually and I'm not prepared to take that."
Blazer's allegations were preceded by claims made in parliament by the former head of England's failed 2018 World Cup bid, Lord Triesman , about irregularities in the bidding process for the 2018 World Cup.
Triesman, who was also former chairman of the Football Association, accused Warner and three other Fifa Executive Committee members of improper conduct during England's 2018 World Cup bid.
According to Triesman, in exchange for voting for England to host the World Cup , Warner had asked for cash to build an education centre in Trinidad and to buy World Cup television rights for Haiti.
The 68-year-old had been the longest-serving member of Fifa's executive committee, and a Fifa statement continued: "Fifa regrets the turn of events that have led to Mr Warner's decision.
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“Warner's departure poses a lot of questions about the way Fifa operates”
"His resignation has been accepted by world football's governing body, and his contribution to international football and to Caribbean football in particular and the Concacaf confederation are appreciated and acknowledged."
In May, Fifa opened "ethics proceedings" against Warner and Bin Hammam but Warner insisted he was not guilty of a "single iota of wrongdoing".
Football's governing body then suspended Warner and former Fifa presidential candidate Bin Hammam on 29 May, pending an investigation into claims they had offered bribes to members of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU).
Despite claims by Bin Hammam that Fifa president Sepp Blatter was aware of payments made to the CFU, and that he too should be investigated, Fifa's ethics committee stated that "no investigation is warranted" of Blatter.
Following Bin Hammam's suspension, Blatter went on to run unopposed in the Fifa presidential election, despite efforts by the FA to have the election suspended amid the corruption allegations that had engulfed the sport's world governing body.
Blatter was re-elected for a fourth term after receiving 186 of the 203 votes, after 17 member associations supported the FA's request for a delay.
“With my withdrawal from service in international football, I shall, henceforth, be concentrating exclusively on my lifelong commitment to the service of the people of Trinidad and Tobago, currently as chairman of the major party in our governing coalition and as a cabinet minister in the government of our republic”
Despite the controversy that has surrounded Fifa and Warner since May, the governing body's statement concluded: "Mr Warner is leaving Fifa by his own volition after nearly 30 years of service.
"The Fifa executive committee, the Fifa president and the Fifa management thank Mr Warner for his services to Caribbean, Concacaf and international football over his many years devoted to football at both regional and international level, and wish him well for the future."
Warner thanked Fifa in his statement and added that he would now commit himself to serving the people of his native Trinidad and Tobago.
"I am gratified that Fifa has acknowledged my service to international and regional football over several decades," he said.
"It is also a special source of satisfaction to me that during my tenure, capacities and facilities in the Caribbean were upgraded to levels that enabled the region to host several Fifa World Cup finals.
"I sincerely hope that the Caribbean Football Union will continue to fight above its weight in Fifa and Concacaf affairs.
"With my withdrawal from service in international football, I shall, henceforth, be concentrating exclusively on my lifelong commitment to the service of the people of Trinidad and Tobago, currently as chairman of the major party in our governing coalition and as a cabinet minister in the government of our republic.
"I shall continue to encourage the youth of the Caribbean and the world to deepen their involvement in football, which has lifted so many young people out of hopelessness and risk to personal achievement, while bringing glory to their respective countries."