Fri, Jul


Former president of the T&T Football Federation (TTFF), Oliver Camps, will know today whether his properties will be seized, due to his inability to honour a commitment to pay salaries to former national coach Wim Rijsbergen in 2006/2007.

The Guardian understands that lawyers will be seeking a second extension after a previous 21-day stay was given on November 16, last year.

However, Rijsbergen’s fees of approximately $3.8 million were not met.

Dutchman Rijsbergen, who took over the Soca Warriors team from his countryman Leo Beenhakker, is said to be reluctant to seek any compromise with the T&T Football Association (TTFA), the current governing body for football here in T&T.

Camps’ daughter, Sandra, told the Guardian she is reluctant to seek an extension as she feels her plight will be ignored, since she does not have a good reason to convince the prosecuting lawyer.

“We will just have to wait and see how it goes today. I have been praying everyday and hoping someone can come to my assistance,” she said.

Camps is being represented by Attorney Russell Huggins while her father is being represented by Robin Montano.

Al Roberts and Company, through its representative Shastri Roberts, have been fighting Rijsbergen’s case.

The move to save Camps’ properties took a new twist on Tuesday after president of the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) Azim Bassarath revealed he was mobilising the public into contributing to a fund to help the former national football team manager, commonly referred to as ‘Red Eric’.

The local cricket boss explained he will use his resources at the board to obtain $1,000 from at least 4,000 persons, corporate entities and business organisations to cover the court judgement.

Bassarath is also suggesting that additional funds accumulated from the campaign be given to the former football president to cover medical bills.

Sandra said her father’s health was heading downwards, particularly due to the court order.

Camps’ friend and football colleague Jack Warner, who was special adviser of the football federation at the time, has promised to help.

Camps’ dilemma followed a decision to register the TTFA in his name as the sole proprietor, and followed promises from then Prime Minister Patrick Manning to pay salaries to the national coach, which never materialised.

Neither the Ministry of Sport, nor the governing T&TFA, have offered to help, although sports minister Darryl Smith, has agreed to pay salaries to Russell Latapy who enjoyed a stint as coach without much success.