10 Apr 2012
- Written by Kelvin Jack (wired868)
- Hits: 1841
I’m extremely disappointed that, for the second occasion, a letter that we spent a lot of thought and time on seems to have been ignored by Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
Twelve other 2006 World Cup players and myself—who are involved in this litigation against the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation—are lost for words and disenchanted with the Honourable Prime Minister’s silence.
I understand that the Prime Minister is a very busy person but, in my opinion, she has no excuse for not acknowledging receipt of our correspondence. It is disrespectful, not only to my teammates and I, but also to the citizens of my homeland since taxpayers directly contributed at least $80 million of the TTFF’s 2006 World Cup revenue.
I am presuming—although I still hope I’m wrong—that the Prime Minister isn’t bothered if a member of her government, Works Minister Jack Warner, is yet to account for over $200 million that my team mates, myself and our beloved fans helped generate when we qualified for the 2006 World Cup.
The Sports Dispute Resolution Panel (SDRP) and the Trinidad and Tobago High Court have ruled that the TTFF—and, by extension, Jack Warner—owes us wages. Surely, as Warner’s boss, she should ask him why he hasn’t fulfilled his contractual obligation and not accounted for over $80 million in taxpayers’ money.
Sports Minister Anil Roberts has ignored us as well. “Sub judice” seems to be Roberts’ favourite catchphrase which he uses repeatedly to duck difficult questions.
Someone needs to tell him that we have already won our case and the only outstanding issue is locating reliable accounts so the Judge can determine our full entitlement. So his repeated statements of “sub judice” are laughable to intelligent people.
Roberts should be telling his fellow MP, Warner, and the TTFF that the players need to be paid and Warner needs to account for all the missing money. But he won't.
The Sports Ministry continues to fund the TTFF, through a third party, although the organisation has been chastised and penalised by the courts. It makes one wonder if the government fully respects and abides by the law of the land.
Maybe I'm wrong but I think this is a relevant question that the Prime Minister needs to answer.
The Honourable Justice Devindra Rampersad described Warner as a "renegade agent" yet he seems untouchable and I wonder if Persad-Bissesser would dispel that notion.
If Warner is as innocent as he attempts to make people believe, why does he continue to use every possible legal resource to avoid producing accounts? What do you have to hide?
Under these circumstances, it seems bizarre that this person was appointed UNC chairman and is now a member of the Security Council.
I have no interest in politics but the injustice of our case and the lack of support from the Prime Minister make me sick. It defies belief that the Prime Minister, herself a lawyer, would ignore something as serious as this.
I don't want to be arrogant here but we are Chaconia Gold Medal holders who are being ignored. Similarly, my fellow countrymen who struggle to make ends meet but whose money contributed to our World Cup qualification and participation also need answers.
Warner was identified as the sole individual who knows the whereabouts of the missing funds and perhaps the UNC membership, the Prime Minister and her advisers do not recognise the predicament that he faces.
We plan to soon release all the judgments thus far as well as documents that show that the 2006 World Cup bank account was still in use, two years after it should have been closed down.
There are many other questions that deserve answers including why players were paid with CONCACAF and Caribbean Football Union (CFU) cheques.
I really do hope Persad-Bissessar, Warner, Roberts and TTFF Normalisation Committee chairman Anthony Harford read this.
In all probability, our cries will continue to be ignored but this issue will not go away until the players receive their entitlement and millions are accounted for. We intend to vigorously pursue contempt of court proceedings against ex-TTFF president Oliver Camps, general secretary Richard Groden and interim president Lennox Watson.
Football in Trinidad and Tobago is suffering a painful and agonising death and I implore you to sort this issue.
When you leave office, Madam Prime Minister, how do you want to be remembered?