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Offline pull stones

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Re: Home of Football Thread
« Reply #210 on: September 11, 2020, 12:21:57 PM »
Wonder how tony and andre goin and spin this shit sandwich, tony, sadly was on vacation when this broke but errol, dat snake ah want to hear him
you telling me. can’t wait to hear tied tongue andre and all the william wallace detractors spin their way out of that bag of shit, oh yeh, I would like to see brent wanker share a big bite of that sandwich as well.

Offline pull stones

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Re: Home of Football Thread
« Reply #211 on: September 11, 2020, 12:28:21 PM »
Seems like the technical quality of the golf stroke declined as the questioning evolved. That last one was more weed-wacking and escapist than finesse.

In terms of imagery, a golf course is probably one of the last places yuh would want to be fielding questions about hidden money yuh supposedly know nothing about.

It sends such an encouraging message to those players who are starving or on unpaid starvation wages or unpaid match $.
yow! I swore that his strength left his body on that last shot, that’s how guilt ridden the man was. I’m sure when he went home he had to change his draws because of the stains after that encounter  :rotfl:, what a fat wanker he is.  :busshead:

Offline FF

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Re: Home of Football Thread
« Reply #212 on: September 11, 2020, 02:25:00 PM »
Seems like the technical quality of the golf stroke declined as the questioning evolved. That last one was more weed-wacking and escapist than finesse.

In terms of imagery, a golf course is probably one of the last places yuh would want to be fielding questions about hidden money yuh supposedly know nothing about.

It sends such an encouraging message to those players who are starving or on unpaid starvation wages or unpaid match $.
yow! I swore that his strength left his body on that last shot, that’s how guilt ridden the man was. I’m sure when he went home he had to change his draws because of the stains after that encounter  :rotfl:, what a fat wanker he is.  :busshead:

If the police was doing their jobs they would have been on this already and had a wire tap waiting for him after this. Because I can imagine the frantic calls and texts he would have made on the car ride home
THE BEATINGS WILL CONTINUE UNTIL MORALE IMPROVES

Offline FF

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Re: Home of Football Thread
« Reply #213 on: September 11, 2020, 03:58:23 PM »
Seems like the technical quality of the golf stroke declined as the questioning evolved. That last one was more weed-wacking and escapist than finesse.

In terms of imagery, a golf course is probably one of the last places yuh would want to be fielding questions about hidden money yuh supposedly know nothing about.

It sends such an encouraging message to those players who are starving or on unpaid starvation wages or unpaid match $.
yow! I swore that his strength left his body on that last shot, that’s how guilt ridden the man was. I’m sure when he went home he had to change his draws because of the stains after that encounter  :rotfl:, what a fat wanker he is.  :busshead:


THE BEATINGS WILL CONTINUE UNTIL MORALE IMPROVES

Offline ABTrini

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Re: Home of Football Thread
« Reply #214 on: September 12, 2020, 08:19:43 AM »
Another iconic mastermind - Are we the only Caribbean nation where allegedly FIFA funds have been deployed to construct monuments to honour and profit the"  sdog " of  our football body.

First the Centre of Excellence now HoF - let's play football bingo - " under the "W's". we have .....

Offline Tallman

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TTFA's money trail to Panama
« Reply #215 on: September 12, 2020, 10:49:22 AM »
Money trail to Panama
By Mark Bassant (T&T Guardian)


With the help of forensic investigators, Guardian Media unravelled a financial trail leading to a Panamanian bank account which seems to have been opened by former T&T Football Association president David John-Williams in April 2017.

Using an email address used by John-Williams for many years, forensic investigators conducted a legal data analytic trace.

The email address allowed the investigators to pin down communication with any bank in their database, including any bank in Panama or elsewhere in the world.

Their search flagged an account with a Panamanian bank called BPR Bank, SA.

Located in the financial district of Panama City, the bank only started operating in Panama in 2016.

Doing a deep dive with personal information about John-Williams provided by Guardian Media, the investigators reported that, “We have reason to believe that Mr David John-Williams is in possession, and or associated, with a bank account at this bank which has in excess of US$1.5 million.”

On April 1, 2017, the bank account was created and on the same day US$279,742.62 was deposited into it via a payment order, according to the information the investigators obtained.

This is bearing in mind that at some point in early 2017, FIFA gave the TTFA US$2 million in funding for the Home of Football project in Couva. At the same time, the association’s finances were in serious decline.

On August 15, 2017, another payment order of US$249,640.20 was deposited into the BPR account. In four months, a total of US$529,382.82 was deposited into the account. Sometime in 2018, the forensic investigators said, US$1 million was also deposited into the account in one transaction.

Guardian Media also obtained information about two Panamanian companies, SOREG INC. and COLSOL Investment Corporation, in which John-Williams appeared as a director.

According to forensic investigators, the deposits in the BPR bank account came from those two companies.

According to Panama’s public registry, SOREG INC was formed in 1975 and COLSOL Investment Corporation in 1977.

Forensic investigators and another reliable source verifying the information said both companies are defunct - SOREG dissolved and COLSOL Investment Corporation was suspended.

Someone named David Apollnaris John-Williams, the same name as the TTFA’s former president, is listed as a director and secretary in these companies, according to forensic investigators.

Why? Because they said it likely made it easier for John-Williams to open an account with BPR Bank SA, since his name was listed on the Panamanian companies.

What the forensic experts concluded in their report to Guardian Media was that if COLSOL Investment and SOREG were used for the transactions to the BPR account “a predication of an off-the-shelf offshore scheme may exist.”

Usually registered through a company formation agent before being transferred to the customer, an off-the-shelf company, or ready-made company, is a pre-registered limited company that was never traded.

What this means, according to investigators is that COLSOL and SOREG were likely used as a conduit to facilitate the transfer of the money into the BPR bank account in Panama, allegedly owned by John-Williams.

“Forensic investigators established you opened the account in early April 2017 and then made a deposit through a payment order to the account for US$279,000, and then on August 18th, another payment order deposited US$249,000,” Guardian Media asked to John-Williams near his home at the Sevilla Golf Course, in Brechin Castle, Couva on Tuesday (September 8.).

“To my bank account? ... It’s laughable. I hope you can produce the evidence,” John-Williams said in response.

“During the investigations they discovered the money came from two companies - SOREG Incorporation and COLSOL Investment, where they said you were listed as a director and secretary, and it seems the money came from an account with these business names that were defunct. They alleged you inserted your name into these companies and later transferred the funds to the bank account you set up. Whose money is that?” Guardian Media then asked.

He laughed.

Finally, we asked John-Williams, “Why did you decide to open an account in 2017 in Panama?”

Once again, he laughed.

Hidden loan and second tranche

When the newly-elected TTFA board assumed office in November 2019, then-president William Wallace asked FIFA’s Chief Member Associations Officer about FIFA’s Forward Development Programme funding for the period 2019-2022.

But FIFA’s Veron Osembo-Omba failed to inform Wallace that former president David John-Williams had already received the funding in January 2019, well ahead of time.

That money remains unaccounted for.

Also unaccounted for is a CONCACAF loan that John-Williams was granted in May 2017.

Like the second tranche of funding, no one knew that John-Williams received the CONCACAF loan. The loan, unknown to the then TTFA board, came a month after the Panama bank account was opened.

It also came only a few months after FIFA gave the TTFA US$2 million of Forward Funding money and approximately US$1.2m in annual operational costs - US$700,000 in January and US$500,000 by July of that year.

The CONCACAF promissory note, obtained by Guardian Media, showed the signatures of CONCACAF General Secretary Phillipe Moggio and John-Williams as the loan’s borrower.

The loan’s agreement stated: “The use of proceeds of the amounts borrowed hereunder shall be solely for administrative, technical and operational expenses of the borrower (TTFA), including preparation and travel of the borrower’s national teams to official CONCACAF or FIFA competitions and which have been pre-approved in writing by the lender. None of the proceeds will be used for any other purposes.”

As part of the agreement, TTFA had a maturity date of 30 days to repay the amount, or as stipulated, after this date, interest was to be accrued annually.

Three years later, this loan has not been repaid, with the interest sending the association into deeper debt.

In December 2019, just a few months before a FIFA Normalisation Committee replaced the TTFA administration under Wallace, CONCACAF’s Chief Financial and Administration Officer Alejandro Lesende wrote to Yale Antoine (TTFA administrative officer) indicating the outstanding debt from 2017, with interest, stood at US$662,988.04.

Given the TTFA’s already precarious finances, Lesende was reluctant in lending the money, according to CONCACAF insiders. However, he decided to grant the loan on the condition that it was to pay off people owed money by the association.

Guardian Media obtained a breakdown of the parties who received partial payments:

Ex-national manager Stephen Hart received US$70,000 for 2016.

Former national manager Dennis Lawrence was paid US$20,000.

Out of the money originally assigned to Lawrence, however, some was paid to technical staff and a few national players for a portion of their match fees.

According to TTFA and CONCACAF insiders, most of the loan intended for operational use was diverted to the Home of Football project instead, leaving creditors in a quandary.

Asked why he decided to take out the CONCACAF loan, John-Williams declined to comment.

“Did you short change Trinidad and Tobago football and the people of this nation, Mr Williams?” Guardian Media then asked.

He again declined comment.

When the last TTFA board came into office in late November 2019, they attempted to dig into the financial dealings that occurred during John-Williams’ tenure.

On February 2, 2020, Wallace wrote to FIFA’s Chief Member Association Officer Veron Mosengo-Omba inquiring about the FIFA Forward Funding for 2019-2022.

Dismissively, Mosengo-Omba responded saying, “We are aware of the financial situation and existing debts of the TTFA. However, in order to have a holistic view of the financial situation of the TTFA, we will send a joint mission of FIFA-CONCACAF which will be comprised of financial experts to work with the FA, so that we can have clarity, and to work with you for the next move. In the meantime, we can only release funding directly related to competition/tournament preparation, as we have been doing so far.”

But when Guardian Media previously spoke to John-Williams for another story in May this year, he sent us a letter from FIFA signed by Mosengo-Omba outlining that FIFA was pleased to announce their entitlements under the FIFA Forward Programme for $2m for the years 2019-2022 - a second tranche that was given in an election year when a new TTFA president (Wallace) was later chosen.

In other words, John-Williams received two tranches of FIFA Forward Programme money in 2017 and 2019. Usually, monies are given under this programme every four years. The question remained why Mosengo-Omba failed to tell Wallace, in his letter in February this year, that the FIFA Forward Programme for the next four years had already been disbursed in January 2019?

One month later, in March, a FIFA Normalisation Committee under Robert Hadad took control from the Wallace-led TTFA board.

There remain a few questions about the dealings between the John-Williams board and members of the FIFA executive.

Last October, in an interview with UK journalist Paul Nicholson, then TTFA member Selby Browne hinted that should John-Williams lose the TTFA election, FIFA would remove the new board and install a Normalisation Committee.

Was the FIFA Normalisation Committee a way to cover up transgressions committed during the reign of John-Williams?

With FIFA’s Congress due on September 18 and the TTFA facing possible sanctions for taking the current dispute over the Normalisation Committee to court, will FIFA probe allegations of corruption, or rather will T&T football face its darkest moment without the full truth coming to light?

Time will tell.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2020, 11:58:39 AM by Flex »
The Conquering Lion of Judah shall break every chain.

Offline Flex

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Re: Home of Football Thread
« Reply #216 on: September 14, 2020, 12:12:16 PM »
FIFA officer linked to FKF crisis mentioned adversely in Trinidad & Tobago troubles
By Robin Toskin and Charles Odero (standardmedia).


FIFA’s Chief Member Associations Officer, Veron Mosengo-Omba, who has been in the recent past accused of his role in Football Kenya Federation (FKF) crisis, is no stranger to controversy.

The FIFA chief first came to the limelight last year as having approved the acquisition of undelivered Outside Broadcasting van that FKF paid the now insolvent WTS Media Group Limited Sh125million from the FIFA Forward Fund.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) presidential aspirant Lordvic Aduda also last year claimed that Veron Mosengo-Omba, as the Member Associations Head for Africa and the Caribbean, oversaw the technical evaluation and subsequent approval of the van months before the UK-based company collapsed with creditors’ money, FKF being one of them.

In 2016, immediately Nick Mwendwa was elected president, FKF embarked on an ambitious project to buy an OB van for production of football content.

FKF had hoped to use the van to generate content and extra money to supplement its programmes and save local clubs the cost of production in CAF assignments.

Despite FKF splashing Sh125million as down payment, WTS Broadcast are yet to deliver the van.

Standard Sports has on several occasions over the last two years written to FIFA and Veron Mosengo-Omba over the fate of the OB van.

Fifa’s standard response has been that “FIFA received the report from the FKF and its lawyers regarding the non-delivery of the broadcast vans and equipment. FIFA has asked follow-up questions based on the report and we are engaging with the FKF in order to assess the options that are available.”

“The FKF has also provided responses to locals stakeholders such as the Sports, Culture, and Tourism Parliamentary Committee. FIFA will continue to monitor this matter, and further updates will be provided in due course.”

Protagonists in the protracted Football Kenya Federation elections, which have twice been nullified by the independent Sports Disputes Tribunal, point at an invisible hand from FIFA.

Despite the FKF violating the FIFA Standard Elections Code, as found by Kenya’s Sports Tribunal, on December 3, 2019 and March 17, 2020, Mosengo-Omba has been reluctant to throw the book at the local FA.

For instance, while the FIFA Standard Elections Code says in Article 4 (2) that “The members of the (Electoral) Committee are not allowed to serve for two consecutive terms” FKF did appoint one Prof Edwin Wamukoya, who served in the 2016 elections board that brought the incumbent Nick Mwendwa to power.

Curiously, Mosengo-Omba as FIFA’s Chief Member Associations Office, failed to invoke Section G of the Fifa Electoral Code that says: “Failure by the association to apply the principles of this code shall be considered a serious violation of Article 13 of the FIFA Statutes and shall lead to consequences described in Article 14 of the FIFA statutes or the disciplinary measures provided for under Article 55 of the FIFA Statutes,” states paragraph (1) of the section (G) of the FIFA Standard Electoral Code.”

Mosengo-Omba rejected proposals by the Sports Tribunal that FIFA imposes a Normalisation Committee instead called for a meeting of stakeholders he described as “for the sake of peace.”

The Swiss-Congolese national has since gone back on his call for the meeting, instead urged FKF to go ahead with the elections based on the FA’s controversial elections code – a move that has raised eye-brows.

Now the very Mosengo-Omba has been adversely mentioned in an investigative story by Trinidad and Tobago Guardian regarding his role in millions of US dollars in FIFA Forward Funding stashed in Panama banks meant for the Trinidad & Tobago Football Association.

A financial trail of secret Panama deals, a hidden Panamanian bank account and a hefty CONCACAF loan no one had an inkling about are just some of the things unearthed during a year-and-a-half-long Guardian Media investigation into the affairs of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) under the tenure of former president David John-Williams between 2015 and 2019.

Fourteen years after Trinidad and Tobago qualified for the FIFA World Cup for the first time, the TTFA is on course to face sanctions from international governing body FIFA for challenging the Normalisation Committee sent in to reorganise local football.

And while much of the focus surrounds actions taken by former president Wallace, a Guardian Media investigation has found that it was the action of another former president that pushed T&T football to the brink.

Guardian Media unraveled a complex web of suspicious financial transactions done in the name of the Home of Football during its investigation.

According to Guardian Media, Mosengo-Omba granted permission to former Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams to purchase structural material for the Home of football project that has now brought negative financial impact to Trinidad and Tobago football development.

After writing to FIFA’s member association director Mosengo-Omba in July 2017, asking for permission for the TTFA, and not a contractor, to purchase structural material for the Home of Football project, John-Williams was permitted to do so.

This approach, John-Williams claimed, would have saved the TTFA and selected contractors money.

“The association is in the fortunate position to have the necessary in-house expertise to collaborate with project managers and make educated decisions on the construction activity,” John-Williams wrote in a letter to Mosengo-Omba months after.

According to former TTFA executive Look Loy and others, the then board had major concerns about this move.

Given John-Williams’ background as a contractor, there was a possible conflict of interest, the board felt then. And with the then-president failing to provide them with information about the project, they weren’t sure who the main contractor for the project was.

Those answers remained unanswered during the entirety of the project, according to members of the then board.

According to our findings though, there is reason to believe that the contractor for the project was none other than John-Williams himself.

Guardian Media has discovered that the former TTFA president oversaw business transactions with a Panamanian company called ECOTEC.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Flex

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Re: Home of Football Thread
« Reply #217 on: September 14, 2020, 04:35:06 PM »
Police start ‘preliminary investigation’ into DJW money trail to Panama.
The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Flex

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Re: Home of Football Thread
« Reply #218 on: September 16, 2020, 01:50:07 AM »
Hadad, Romano keen to hear John-Williams on Home of Football.
By Ian Prescott (Express).


It is time for David John-Williams to speak up and defend himself.

This call has been made by both Normalisation Committee chairman Robert Hadad and committee member Nigel Romano.

The pair made the call during an interview on the SportsMax Zone programme on regional Cable TV network Sportsmax.

John-Williams, immediate past president of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association, was the highlight of a recent television expose on the Home of Football which raised questions about how the funds for the FIFA project were used.

Hadad, appointed by FIFA in March to head the Normalisation Committee — set up to replace the elected president William Wallace and his executive — said John-Williams needed to say something.

“Absolutely yes. I think he needs to address some of the matters and the accusations about him, definitely yes,” Hadad said. His call was backed up by Romano.

Asked if the Normalisation Committee had found any evidence of money for the Home of Football project going to a bank account in Panama as the CNC3 investigation claimed, he said: “I have not seen any evidence of that. The questions were asked and they need to be answered and I would hope that the people with the answers, the people who own the bank accounts, will step up and explain the source of funds.”

However, questioned repeatedly about whether they had seen any evidence of money that came to the TTFA’s accounts for the project not being accounted for, Hadad said: “FIFA has done their central audit and they have reported that they have found nothing untoward in what they have seen. We have also been very active with a statutory audit...We are not going in to verify that contracts were given to who, how and why. What we are doing is verifying the money spent on the Home of Football, verifying that the invoices are there and that the money was paid out of a legitimate bank account of the TTFA. What we have seen is we have a very detailed report of the $32million spent on the Home of Football and we have invoices for every transaction.”

Romano added: “If the moneys came into a TTFA bank account...we saw where it went out and we have established that there is evidence to support that the outgoings bought material for the home of Football. If the money went direct to Panama, we wouldn’t be able to (verify that).”

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Tiresais

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Re: Home of Football Thread
« Reply #219 on: September 16, 2020, 06:36:29 AM »
That's the slow sound of DJW being thrown under the bus, if you wondered

Offline Flex

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Re: Home of Football Thread
« Reply #220 on: September 17, 2020, 08:23:32 AM »
Cops start criminal probe of ex-TTFA boss' activity.
By Mark Bassant (Guardian).
Lead Editor, Investigative Desk


After GML expose on John-Williams

A Guardian Media exclusive investigation has prompted a criminal probe by the white-collar division of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS), into the activities of the T&T Football Association (TTFA), a Panamanian bank account linked to its former president David John-Williams and all business transactions involving the Home of Football project in Couva.

This investigation comes at a time when the sport of football and the cash-strapped TTFA is on the verge of facing its darkest ever moment—suspension by international football’s governing body FIFA come tomorrow.

The investigation was opened almost one week after the exclusive and explosive CNC3 documentary titled TTFA’s Secret Panama Trail, which detailed some of John-Williams’ activities regarding the Home of Football project while in office. Police investigators told Guardian Media that the criminal investigation was sparked by last Thursday’s documentary.

A high-powered team of investigators from the TTPS’ Fraud Squad, Anti-Corruption Bureau(ACIB) and the Financial Investigations Branch (FIB) met late Monday evening to discuss the matter and initiated the formal criminal investigation.

Senior investigators told Guardian Media they took a special interest in the documentary that unravelled questionable business transactions, a hidden Panamanian bank account and other alleged financial improprieties during John-Williams’ tenure.

“The probe will be looking at financial mismanagement and malfeasance at the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association,” a senior police source familiar with the impending investigation told Guardian Media yesterday.

Of critical concern to investigators is the Panama account linked to John-Williams and uncovered by Guardian Media with the help of forensic investigators. Police investigators would like to trace the source of funds in the account and why it was first hidden in off-the-shelf companies. This was disclosed yesterday by one of the senior investigators mandated to work on the case.

The forensic report uncovered the account at the BPR Bank SA in Panama, where two deposits amounting to just over half a million US dollars were made in April and August 2017 and another US$1m deposited into the account in 2018—making it a total of some US$1.5m found in the account.

The monies were deposited to the account after it had been passed through another account in the names of two now-defunct Panamanian companies—SOREG Inc and COLSOL Investment Corporation.

Investigators are also hoping to scour the TTFA bank accounts in an effort to better understand the money trail. They will be attempting to verify if any other accounts were used to transfer funds to Panama for the business arrangement with ECOTEC—which provided the structural material for the Home of Football on the instructions of John-Williams at a cost of $282,653.85, or for any other kind of business/banking arrangement that had been sanctioned without the consultation of the then TTFA board between 2015 and 2019.

The lead investigator in the probe will be Superintendent Ruben from the Fraud Squad and he will be assisted by heads and other senior ACIB and FIB officers in the expansive trans-Atlantic investigation.

During the CNC 3 documentary, questions were raised about who the main Home of Football contractor was, as evidence gathered pointed to it being John-Williams - who organised the structural material and oversaw business with ECOTEC. The invoices and material were sent directly to John-Williams.

John-Williams also made several trips to Panama during his tenure, unknown to any of his fellow TTFA executives. FIFA’s Forward Development Programme regulations had warned about any possible conflict of interest in the project.

Investigators say they will also be scrutinising this business arrangement to inquire if John-Williams may have allegedly profited in some way from the transaction.

Several former and present TTFA officials and other key people are also expected to be interviewed by the police in the investigation. FIFA officials may also form part of the blanket of people to be interviewed if needed.

Investigators are expected to interview three key people who may have intimate knowledge about certain financial transactions that may have gone down over the last few years. Guardian Media understands several other bank accounts of key individuals may also form part of the far-reaching probe.

The criminal investigation comes at a time with FIFA is locked in a legal battle with the TTFA—who had been asked to withdraw its court matter over the installation of a Normalisation Committee to restructure local football yesterday or face possible suspension when the FIFA Congress convenes tomorrow.

RELATED NEWS

Police start ‘preliminary investigation’ into DJW; Quan Chan, Daniel respond to allegations.
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868).


Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith says the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) has ‘taken notice’ of allegations of financial misconduct supposedly committed by former Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams but remained tightlipped about an official probe.

John-Williams was the subject of an hour long feature by CNC3 investigative journalist Mark Bassant last Thursday called ‘TTFA’s Secret Panama Trail’, which claimed that, among other things, the football administrator diverted Fifa funding meant for the TTFA Home of Football into a secret Panamanian bank account.

“We have noted [the CNC3 feature] and it has our attention,” said Griffith, who worked as a security consultant with the TTFA during John-Williams’ tenure.

However, a police source claimed that the TTPS has already started ‘preliminary investigations’.

“Based on the matter being put in the public domain, we have already started checks to see if any crime was committed on Trinidad soil,” said the high-ranking lawman, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “It could be money laundering, it could be financial impropriety or tax evasion. It could be a number of different things, or it could be nothing at all.”

John-Williams oversaw the Home of Football project which, on the surface, had a Fifa budget of US$2.75 million or TT$19.25 million.

However, what the TTFA Board did not know—as revealed by CNC3—is that ‘DJW’ was granted a second loan for US$2 million, on 18 January 2019, by Fifa Member Associations (Africa and Caribbean) chief Véron Mosengo-Omba, which also went into the project.

The latter figure was an advance on money available to the TTFA between 2019-22, which meant that John-Williams’ successor, William Wallace, found that a portion of his funding from the world governing body was already spent when he took office last November.

Despite having a TT$32 million war chest, the Home of Football did not have its own power source, commercial insurance or a proper kitchen when Fifa president Gianni Infantino flew in to cut the ribbon in a gala affair on 18 November 2019.

On 22 April 2020, Minister of National Security Stuart Young listed the ‘tweaks’ that were necessary before the Home of Football could be used to house Covid-19 patients.

“Corporate sponsorship came from Ansa McAl, Beacon provided the public liability insurance, I had a number of companies providing us with the fire extinguishers, Safe Tech, and some other companies and also the fire signs,” said Young. “[…] We had Flow provide the cable and the internet for each room, we had WASA on site within a matter of hours, doing all that needed to be done to get the water supply working.

“The Defence Force worked overnight to fix the sewerage system, CEPEP—Minister Kazim Hosein and his CEPEP gang—got there a matter of hours after the request, cleared the place, built fire trails. I am going to miss certain names [who also assisted].

“[Fifa-appointed normalisation committee chairman] Mr Robert Hadad personally donated light bulbs and other things to assist. […] We got washing machines, dryers, electricals…”

Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) president Keith Look Loy, who was a TTFA Board member for the final two years of John-Williams’ reign, got a High Court order in 2019 to access invoices for the project, and found a glaring lack of accountability.

“When I added up the quantum of what was stated in the contracts, the grand total was TT$3.189 million; but the grand total of the Fifa contribution for the Home of Football was US$2.75 million or TT$19.25 million,” said Look Loy. “So I don’t know how they plan to explain that shortfall; but the gap is over $16 million!

“[…] I was told by [general secretary] Camara David there are service providers who had workers [on the Home of Football project] on a daily paid basis and they had no contracts, and they were just paid in cash, which they then paid their workers with—so there was no record.”

At the time, Look Loy did not know that the Home of Football budget was TT$32.14 million, rather than TT$19.25 million. It means the unaccounted figure was closer to TT$29 million or US$4.3 million.

John-Williams, as Wired868 revealed then, got approval from Mosengo-Omba and Fifa Development Programmes manager Solomon Mudege to run the project himself.

“Given the [TTFA] president’s know-how in the construction business having over 39 years of experience,” John-Williams wrote to Mosengo-Omba, referring to himself in the third person, “the Association is in the fortunate position to have the necessary in-house expertise to collaborate with project manager and make educated decisions on the construction activity.

“[…] Can you advise if there is a requirement for TTFA to engage in public advertisement and public tendering? Or in the interest of expedition, we can go to the market in a selective tendering exercise?

“Secondly, apart from accelerating the project, we are of the view that procuring some [of] the high cost structural material by TTFA and providing same to the selected contractor may bring some cost savings through avoidance of contractor mark-ups on materials purchased…”

Both Fifa officials gave DJW the thumbs up.

“If the TTFA has the necessary expertise and is in agreement with the selected contractor,” replied Mosengo-Omba, “then the TTFA may purchase any materials that are required in the construction project.”

Fifa regulations allow for contracts below US$50,000 to be awarded to a single contractor or supplier without tender. So, John-Williams broke up the work into multiple packages.

The TTFA Board’s tender committee for the Home of Football was chaired by first vice-president Ewing Davis and included second vice-president Joanne Salazar and Southern FA president Richard Quan Chan. Wired868 was unable to reach Davis or Salazar on the CNC3 allegations. However, Quan Chan said he was in the dark.

“I have no information of any money laundering,” Quan Chan told Wired868. “I once heard a rumour that he was laundering money through a hardware and we had a small chat about it. I told him what I heard and he said that that does not make sense no-how.

“He never admitted to me anything like that.”

Quan Chan said he knew nothing about the diversion of local football money to accounts in Miami or Panama either.

“If I don’t know about what happening with the accounts in Trinidad, I would know about Panama accounts?” asked Quan Chan. “The first I heard of those other accounts was when Mark Bassant spoke about it.”

Quan Chan also served on John-Williams’ emergency committee alongside Davis, Selby Browne (VFFOTT), Anthony Moore (TFA) and Bandele Kamau (EFA). At the time, members accused the committee of being a rubber stamp for the president, which allowed him to circumvent the scrutiny of the board.

Still, John-Williams did not always inform the emergency committee of what he was up to either. By the time John-Williams brought a proposed apparel deal from Capelli Sport to the emergency committee, for instance, the Soca Warriors were already wearing gear from the obscure New York-based company.

“At the point of time, I didn’t fuss because it was really a short term thing—probably less than three months,” said Quan Chan, as he explained why he did not object to signing off on a deal after the fact.

The SFA president, who was a former HR manager at Petrotrin, said he simply never asked about John-Williams’ secret deal with either i95.5FM or its reporters Andre Baptiste and Tony Lee, which appeared to include airfare, hotel accommodation and, on occasion, broadcast fees.

“I don’t know what contract or arrangement they worked with, with i95.5,” he said. “[…] I know they travelled with the team as the ‘reporting arm of the TTFA’ but I never saw any contract or knew what the details were.”

Quan Chan conceded that board members might have some responsibility for what transpired during their term but said the constitution needed to be amended, so as to help ensure better governance.

He noted that current TTFA president William Wallace is also guilty of doing deals without board approval, like the contracts he entered into with controversial English salesman Peter Miller and Avec Sport, as well as the terms he offered to general secretary Ramesh Ramdhan and Soca Warriors head coach Terry Fenwick.

“That is one of the things that amazes me with the United TTFA,” said Quan Chan, “because some of the things they complained about, they ended up running with it. It felt as if John-Williams was still here.

“[…] Personally, I think we have to review the whole system. What [finance committee head Kendall] Tull started doing with the board [on corporate responsibility] was a pretty good thing.

“There should be oversight of everything to ensure that all is above board.”

Fifa-appointed normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad has repeatedly stated that he has no intention of digging for skeletons in the TTFA’s closet. And, as recent as 27 August 2020, Hadad allegedly told Minister of Sport Shamfa Cudjoe that John-Williams was not guilty of financial misconduct during his tenure.

Hadad has not yet responded publicly to the TTFA’s Secret Panama Trail documentary.

Normalisation committee vice-chair Judy Daniel did see Bassant’s programme, though. And she urged for further investigation… of Wallace!

“When will TT become mature and accept responsibility for their negligence in allowing the alleged high level of corruption?” asked Daniel, via what appeared to be her Facebook account. “[…] We did well as a small nation but will go no further unless we develop our own vision for football and move towards that, not just sitting back and depending on Fifa money.

“Shame on all the talkers now that suspension is looming because again a few have initiated action to keep power in their hands.

“I look forward to viewing an investigative report that shows the numerous high-priced contracts that Wallace issued in a mere four months of his reign, while the TTFA was bankrupt—all in keeping with the trend established by John-Williams.”

« Last Edit: September 18, 2020, 09:32:22 AM by Flex »
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Offline Flex

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Re: Home of Football Thread
« Reply #221 on: September 17, 2020, 03:12:49 PM »
Ex-TTFA president poised to take legal action.
Loop Sports.


Former President of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association David John-Williams is considering legal action against Guardian Media Limited (GML) and investigative reporter Mark Bassant.

The media house ran several articles and stories during the past week which allege wrongdoing on the part of John-Williams during his time as TTFA President.

John-Williams says that all of the allegations are false.

The former TTFA President said he is awaiting his day in court and intends to “make publicly available the material which I have in my possession and which is otherwise available to me, which will show all of these allegations to be baseless.”

He served as President of the TTFA from 2015-2019, during a turbulent time in local football.

He was replaced as TTFA President by William Wallace in November 2019.

However, FIFA, the world governing body for football, booted the Wallace administration out of office in March 2020, replacing it with a Normalization Committee.

John-Williams has been out of the limelight since then, but the recent stories in the GML group have brought a response.

Here is the full statement released by John-Williams.

Statement by David John-Williams, former President of the TTFA

Over the past few days, Guardian Media Limited (GML) has published several articles in its Guardian Newspaper and has carried several news stories on its television station, CNC 3, all created by Mr. Mark Bassant, and in the course of which allegations of wrongdoing have been leveled against me in connection with the construction of the TTFA’s ‘Home of Football’ during my tenure as TTFA President. All of the allegations made against me are false.

Prior to publishing these allegations, Mr. Bassant, no doubt in an attempt to immunize himself and GML from liability for their falsity, ambushed me on a golf course and inundated me with a series of questions and statements which I could not reasonably be expected properly to answer in the course of his ambush. I give the unqualified assurance that there are complete answers to all of Mr. Bassant’s allegations.

I have also been advised that Mr. Bassant’s attempt to immunize himself and GML from liability does not have the prophylactic effect for which he and GML undoubtedly wished, and that he and GML are both liable for the false and defamatory allegations contained and made in these articles and television news stories, which they continue to publish and to carry.

I have engaged attorneys-at-law to examine and to advise me on the material which I have in my possession and which is otherwise available to me and which lays bare the untruth, the distortions and the falsehoods contained in these articles and television news stories. Once my attorneys-at-law have completed their due diligence, I will be instructing the filing of legal proceedings against GML and Mr. Bassant for these odious and contemptible allegations which have caused my family and myself incomprehensible distress. Further, after their review thereof and to the extent that I am permitted by my attorneys-at-law to do so, I also propose to make publicly available the material which I have in my possession and which is otherwise available to me, which will show all of these allegations to be baseless.

In the meantime, I deprecate in the strongest terms possible GML’s and Mr. Bassant’s attempts to elevate sensationalism and character-assassination to the ranks of journalism and I await my day in court when I will clear my name and cause GML and Mr. Bassant to account dearly for their libel.

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Tim Kee raised Home of Football issues with FIFA boss
« Reply #222 on: September 18, 2020, 07:41:51 AM »
Tim Kee raised Home of Football issues with FIFA boss
By Mark Bassant (T&T Guardian)


A few months after the construction of the Home of Football began in 2018, FIFA boss Gianni Infantino was alerted by a former T&T Football Association boss about allegations of “impropriety, dictatorship and unconstitutional actions” on the part of then-president David John-Williams as it related to the Home of Football project.

But Infantino failed to respond to the email or even act on the information provided in it by former TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee and showed up for the facility’s opening in November 2019, just a week before John-Williams was ousted as president and replaced by William Wallace’s team.

Guardian Media exclusively obtained Tim Kee’s email to Infantino on October 16, 2018, from international insiders. The email was also copied to FIFA general secretary Fatma Soura, CONCACAF president Victor Montagaliani and Caribbean Football Union president Randy Harris.

Soura is the official who told the TTFA if it did not withdraw its court matter against FIFA in the local courts by Wednesday this week it would face possible suspension today at FIFA’s Congress.

In his email, Tim Kee, now deceased, told Infantino, “The presidency of David John-Williams has been plagued with allegations of impropriety, dictatorship and unconstitutional actions. Many of these issues now form the basis of a High Court action pursued by a member of the board.”

Tim Kee said he had been asked by TTFA members, the business community and the public to break his silence on the matter in the interest of football. He said while he believed in the principles of the FIFA Statutes, he felt John-Williams’ “actions could further harm an already wounded association rather than deliver it from the precarious position in which it now finds itself.”

Tim Kee was not only critical about the alleged transgressions committed by John-Williams but issues that cropped up with the Home of Football construction almost on a weekly basis. He highlighted to Infantino that the issues related to the project.

“The award of contracts, the money spent thus far on the project, the questionable purchasing of materials for the project undertaken by the TTFA president and the inability to produce documentary evidence re; the contracts and invoices relative to the project,” Tim Kee wrote.

In conveying his dissatisfaction, Tim Kee used strong language, stating, “The project has been fraught with controversy and deception from its inception. Mr John-Williams’ intimacy with it is therefore curious and invites suspicion. While all requests from the board for disclosure regarding the project have been met with outright refusal and display of gymnastics by the president (John-Williams). FIFA representative Mr Veron Mosengo-Omba has given the now controversial project the ‘green light.’ This situation begs for intervention by FIFA, as one of its agents might be compromising the organisation.”

Tim Kee added, “The genesis of the woes that are now confronting the TTFA and the development of football, in particular, is Mr David John William’s preoccupation with the Home of Football project. His fixation on this project has negatively impacted the operations of the TTFA and placed the organisation in the worst position it has ever been. The TTFA has been in ‘crisis’ mode since Mr Williams assumed the presidency.”

Tim-Kee added that John-Williams handling of TTFA affairs were also affecting national development programmes at every level.

“Mr Williams’ survival is due primarily to his manipulation of the constitution, disenfranchising board members and prevailing by the ensuing slim majority derived from such action. Akin to all dictatorships, a handful of people are holding a whole nation to ransom. In this particular instance, the entire Caribbean, as we have long been the leading football country that stood as a beacon of hope in the region.”

In closing, Tim Kee appealed for action from Infantino.

“On behalf of the concerned citizens of Trinidad and Tobago and myself, we are reaching out in our moment of desperation to you Sir, as President of the governing body, to put an end to this travesty and tyranny of David John Williams.”

His last line before his sign off read, “For the game for the world!”

Sources familiar with the contents of the email told Guardian Media that Infantino never responded to Tim Kee’s email despite the alarming concerns raised in his letter.

Only on Monday, the T&T Police Service White-collar Division opened a criminal probe into the T&TFA, John-Williams and the matters surrounding the Home of Football. This came after a Guardian Media exclusive investigation into the activities of the T&TFA under John-Williams uncovered a Panamanian bank account and questionable business transactions surrounding the project.
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Offline Flex

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Re: Home of Football Thread
« Reply #223 on: September 18, 2020, 09:12:02 AM »
Infantino: We kicked corruption out of football.
By Narissa Fraser (Newsday).


FIFA president Gianni Infantino says under his leadership, the association has “kicked corruption out of football.” He said FIFA was “toxic” and served itself rather than football.

Speaking at FIFA’s 70th Congress on Friday morning, Infantino said the association has been reformed.

He said it will continue to fight against issues such as corruption, racism and match-fixing in the sport.

“We witnessed it (corruption), we saw it, we kicked it out. We will not let it come back.

“Match-fixing is eating football in its soul. It’s a crime and it's difficult to catch because of the international environment.”

Infantino said the association works at the highest standard of governance and are delivering.

“This is the new FIFA and I’m proud and you should be proud. Even if the process to get there was painful and there are still sources who want to drag us back into the darkness of the past because they don’t like reforms or because they want to hide their malpractices. Who knows?

“But there is no way back. We introduced good governance reforms. We know where the money comes from and where it goes. Everything is out there and transparent – just look at our financial reports and compare them to the past.”

When Infantino visited T&T for the opening of the Home of Football in Couva on November 18, 2019, the Prime Minister praised the new team, describing past administrations as "a mafia."

RELATED NEWS

No mention of T&T football at FIFA Congress.
By Jelani Beckles (Newsday).


FIFA president Gianni Infantino did not mention TT football when he spoke about the suspension or expulsion of a member at the 70th FIFA Congress, on Friday.

Infantino in his brief comment on the topic said, "There is nothing that falls into this agenda item which is obviously good news."

Robert Hadad, head of the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee, which replaced the William Wallace-led TT Football Association (TTFA) in March, told Newsday on Thursday he was not sure if FIFA would decide on Friday whether or not they will suspend T&T from all FIFA-organised internationals and competitions.

Wallace is the head of the United TTFA team that successfully challenged for leadership of the TTFA in November 2019.

Wallace and his vice-presidents Clynt Taylor, Susan Joseph-Warrick and Joseph Sam Phillip, are challenging FIFA’s decision, on March 17, to remove the TTFA executive from office and install a normalisation committee.

FIFA, on August 26, gave the United TTFA a deadline of September 16 to withdraw their case from the High Court and have it heard at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), or face disciplinary action (either a ban or suspension) at the FIFA Congress.

Wallace, on Tuesday, was adamant that the United TTFA was not backing down from their legal battle against FIFA.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Flex

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Re: Home of Football Thread
« Reply #224 on: September 18, 2020, 09:15:43 AM »
Police start ‘preliminary investigation’ into DJW; Quan Chan, Daniel respond to allegations.
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868).


Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith says the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) has ‘taken notice’ of allegations of financial misconduct supposedly committed by former Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams but remained tightlipped about an official probe.

John-Williams was the subject of an hour long feature by CNC3 investigative journalist Mark Bassant last Thursday called ‘TTFA’s Secret Panama Trail’, which claimed that, among other things, the football administrator diverted Fifa funding meant for the TTFA Home of Football into a secret Panamanian bank account.

“We have noted [the CNC3 feature] and it has our attention,” said Griffith, who worked as a security consultant with the TTFA during John-Williams’ tenure.

However, a police source claimed that the TTPS has already started ‘preliminary investigations’.

“Based on the matter being put in the public domain, we have already started checks to see if any crime was committed on Trinidad soil,” said the high-ranking lawman, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “It could be money laundering, it could be financial impropriety or tax evasion. It could be a number of different things, or it could be nothing at all.”

John-Williams oversaw the Home of Football project which, on the surface, had a Fifa budget of US$2.75 million or TT$19.25 million.

However, what the TTFA Board did not know—as revealed by CNC3—is that ‘DJW’ was granted a second loan for US$2 million, on 18 January 2019, by Fifa Member Associations (Africa and Caribbean) chief Véron Mosengo-Omba, which also went into the project.

The latter figure was an advance on money available to the TTFA between 2019-22, which meant that John-Williams’ successor, William Wallace, found that a portion of his funding from the world governing body was already spent when he took office last November.

Despite having a TT$32 million war chest, the Home of Football did not have its own power source, commercial insurance or a proper kitchen when Fifa president Gianni Infantino flew in to cut the ribbon in a gala affair on 18 November 2019.

On 22 April 2020, Minister of National Security Stuart Young listed the ‘tweaks’ that were necessary before the Home of Football could be used to house Covid-19 patients.

“Corporate sponsorship came from Ansa McAl, Beacon provided the public liability insurance, I had a number of companies providing us with the fire extinguishers, Safe Tech, and some other companies and also the fire signs,” said Young. “[…] We had Flow provide the cable and the internet for each room, we had WASA on site within a matter of hours, doing all that needed to be done to get the water supply working.

“The Defence Force worked overnight to fix the sewerage system, CEPEP—Minister Kazim Hosein and his CEPEP gang—got there a matter of hours after the request, cleared the place, built fire trails. I am going to miss certain names [who also assisted].

“[Fifa-appointed normalisation committee chairman] Mr Robert Hadad personally donated light bulbs and other things to assist. […] We got washing machines, dryers, electricals…”

Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) president Keith Look Loy, who was a TTFA Board member for the final two years of John-Williams’ reign, got a High Court order in 2019 to access invoices for the project, and found a glaring lack of accountability.

“When I added up the quantum of what was stated in the contracts, the grand total was TT$3.189 million; but the grand total of the Fifa contribution for the Home of Football was US$2.75 million or TT$19.25 million,” said Look Loy. “So I don’t know how they plan to explain that shortfall; but the gap is over $16 million!

“[…] I was told by [general secretary] Camara David there are service providers who had workers [on the Home of Football project] on a daily paid basis and they had no contracts, and they were just paid in cash, which they then paid their workers with—so there was no record.”

At the time, Look Loy did not know that the Home of Football budget was TT$32.14 million, rather than TT$19.25 million. It means the unaccounted figure was closer to TT$29 million or US$4.3 million.

John-Williams, as Wired868 revealed then, got approval from Mosengo-Omba and Fifa Development Programmes manager Solomon Mudege to run the project himself.

“Given the [TTFA] president’s know-how in the construction business having over 39 years of experience,” John-Williams wrote to Mosengo-Omba, referring to himself in the third person, “the Association is in the fortunate position to have the necessary in-house expertise to collaborate with project manager and make educated decisions on the construction activity.

“[…] Can you advise if there is a requirement for TTFA to engage in public advertisement and public tendering? Or in the interest of expedition, we can go to the market in a selective tendering exercise?

“Secondly, apart from accelerating the project, we are of the view that procuring some [of] the high cost structural material by TTFA and providing same to the selected contractor may bring some cost savings through avoidance of contractor mark-ups on materials purchased…”

Both Fifa officials gave DJW the thumbs up.

“If the TTFA has the necessary expertise and is in agreement with the selected contractor,” replied Mosengo-Omba, “then the TTFA may purchase any materials that are required in the construction project.”

Fifa regulations allow for contracts below US$50,000 to be awarded to a single contractor or supplier without tender. So, John-Williams broke up the work into multiple packages.

The TTFA Board’s tender committee for the Home of Football was chaired by first vice-president Ewing Davis and included second vice-president Joanne Salazar and Southern FA president Richard Quan Chan. Wired868 was unable to reach Davis or Salazar on the CNC3 allegations. However, Quan Chan said he was in the dark.

“I have no information of any money laundering,” Quan Chan told Wired868. “I once heard a rumour that he was laundering money through a hardware and we had a small chat about it. I told him what I heard and he said that that does not make sense no-how.

“He never admitted to me anything like that.”

Quan Chan said he knew nothing about the diversion of local football money to accounts in Miami or Panama either.

“If I don’t know about what happening with the accounts in Trinidad, I would know about Panama accounts?” asked Quan Chan. “The first I heard of those other accounts was when Mark Bassant spoke about it.”

Quan Chan also served on John-Williams’ emergency committee alongside Davis, Selby Browne (VFFOTT), Anthony Moore (TFA) and Bandele Kamau (EFA). At the time, members accused the committee of being a rubber stamp for the president, which allowed him to circumvent the scrutiny of the board.

Still, John-Williams did not always inform the emergency committee of what he was up to either. By the time John-Williams brought a proposed apparel deal from Capelli Sport to the emergency committee, for instance, the Soca Warriors were already wearing gear from the obscure New York-based company.

“At the point of time, I didn’t fuss because it was really a short term thing—probably less than three months,” said Quan Chan, as he explained why he did not object to signing off on a deal after the fact.

The SFA president, who was a former HR manager at Petrotrin, said he simply never asked about John-Williams’ secret deal with either i95.5FM or its reporters Andre Baptiste and Tony Lee, which appeared to include airfare, hotel accommodation and, on occasion, broadcast fees.

“I don’t know what contract or arrangement they worked with, with i95.5,” he said. “[…] I know they travelled with the team as the ‘reporting arm of the TTFA’ but I never saw any contract or knew what the details were.”

Quan Chan conceded that board members might have some responsibility for what transpired during their term but said the constitution needed to be amended, so as to help ensure better governance.

He noted that current TTFA president William Wallace is also guilty of doing deals without board approval, like the contracts he entered into with controversial English salesman Peter Miller and Avec Sport, as well as the terms he offered to general secretary Ramesh Ramdhan and Soca Warriors head coach Terry Fenwick.

“That is one of the things that amazes me with the United TTFA,” said Quan Chan, “because some of the things they complained about, they ended up running with it. It felt as if John-Williams was still here.

“[…] Personally, I think we have to review the whole system. What [finance committee head Kendall] Tull started doing with the board [on corporate responsibility] was a pretty good thing.

“There should be oversight of everything to ensure that all is above board.”

Fifa-appointed normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad has repeatedly stated that he has no intention of digging for skeletons in the TTFA’s closet. And, as recent as 27 August 2020, Hadad allegedly told Minister of Sport Shamfa Cudjoe that John-Williams was not guilty of financial misconduct during his tenure.

Hadad has not yet responded publicly to the TTFA’s Secret Panama Trail documentary.

Normalisation committee vice-chair Judy Daniel did see Bassant’s programme, though. And she urged for further investigation… of Wallace!

“When will TT become mature and accept responsibility for their negligence in allowing the alleged high level of corruption?” asked Daniel, via what appeared to be her Facebook account. “[…] We did well as a small nation but will go no further unless we develop our own vision for football and move towards that, not just sitting back and depending on Fifa money.

“Shame on all the talkers now that suspension is looming because again a few have initiated action to keep power in their hands.

“I look forward to viewing an investigative report that shows the numerous high-priced contracts that Wallace issued in a mere four months of his reign, while the TTFA was bankrupt—all in keeping with the trend established by John-Williams.”

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline pull stones

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Re: Home of Football Thread
« Reply #225 on: September 18, 2020, 10:43:32 PM »
Palease, the police commissioner is all bark and no teeth, and in the end fatso is going to walk away free sheet and emboldened to steal again. just look at jack warner, he’s free as a bird to live without fear of prosecution in that jokey country though he made off with 188 million and no one as much as looked his way, police commissioner my foot.

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Re: Home of Football Thread
« Reply #226 on: September 19, 2020, 02:23:06 AM »
DJW denies receiving US$2m for HoF in 2017.
By Jonathan Ramnanansingh (Newsday).


FORMER TT Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams has vehemently denied receiving US$2 million in funding, in 2017, from FIFA – the sport’s global governing body – towards the Home of Football (HoF) project in Couva, under FIFA’s Forward Development Programme.

In a statement issued by the ex-TTFA head (2015-2019), he also refuted allegations made against him that TTFA was in receipt of an additional US$1.25m to assist in its operational costs during the same fiscal year.

After receiving confirmation from his attorneys-at-law to respond to these claims made by a Guardian Media Limited (GML) report, entitled Secret Panama Trail on September 10, John-Williams published a seven-page document, on Friday, to clear the air.

The document included scanned copies of TTFA’s FIFA Forward Project application for “Construction of TTFA Sporting Accommodation and Ancillary Facilities” which showed the HoF’s projected budget at US$2,740,000. The estimated start and completion date was also given as August 15, 2017 to July 15, 2018.

According to this statement, FIFA would contribute US$2,250,000 while ‘total member-association contributions’ (US$365,000) and ‘other contributions’ (US$125,000) completed the projected HoF costs. This document was signed off by then president John-Williams and general secretary Justin Latapy-George.

The former president also attached a copy of the FIFA Forward Programme Statement of Approval where the global governing body confirmed receipt of the TTFA’s application and granted the local fraternity their promised amount of US$2,250,000, on August 15, 2017.

However, FIFA declared they would disburse these funds “from the entitlement of the TTFA to FIFA Forward funds for the 2016-2018 cycle in three milestone payments”.

According to this document, the first milestone payment of US$900,000 would be delivered “upon receipt of the present document accepted and signed by your association and by providing an invoice for the above amount”.

The second tranche of US$675,000 would be released “upon a written report signed by the constructing company confirming completion of 70 per cent of the works” while the third (US$450,000) would come after receipt of a report by the same company upon completion of 80 per cent of the project.

A fourth milestone payment of US$225,000 was also expected to be wired to TTFA “one month after the completion of the installation and following receipt of a handover document signed between the construction company and your association without reservations”.

In his defence, John-Williams wrote, “As of July 2017, the TTFA had not even yet submitted its application for the (HoF) Project. The TTFA’s application was submitted on August 15, 2017 and was approved by FIFA on the 5 September 2017.

“The TTFA received its first disbursement of US$900,000 in November 2017. Further, the lease for the land to be used for the project was given on August 3, 2017 by the Government of TT. No approval could have been given by FIFA without this lease.”

He concluded, “Additionally, in 2017 the TTFA as well as all Member Associations of FIFA received a sum of US$500,000 for its operational costs. The TTFA did not receive US$1.25 million.”

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Offline asylumseeker

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Re: Home of Football Thread
« Reply #227 on: September 19, 2020, 06:18:09 AM »
It's worth noting that the former TTFA president has multiple TTFA documents at his fingertips.
"My son’s identity has also been reduced to that of ... as a racist. I want this court to know that none of these things are true and that my son is a good man. A lengthy sentence will not serve Derek well.” --- Carolyn Pawlenty, mother of Derek Chauvin, prior to the court issuing a light sentence.

Offline pull stones

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Re: Home of Football Thread
« Reply #228 on: September 19, 2020, 01:11:13 PM »
It's worth noting that the former TTFA president has multiple TTFA documents at his fingertips.
this is all smoke and mirrors, and unless the feeds get directly involved in this case that gargoyle is going to walk and maybe even live to sue GML for defamation. only in the third world does this kind of misconduct is allowed to thrive, like the mighty sparrow’s song which profoundly stated that “good citizens” are allowed to get away with murder in that country, never facing the brunt of the law.

Just hoping the feds still has a hard on for fifa, and a special interest in bringing down that organization where it can be truly transparent. God I wish nothing but pot luck for david John williams from here on in, I not only want to see him in federal prison, but that whole corrupt fifa cabal.

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Re: Home of Football Thread
« Reply #229 on: September 21, 2020, 12:43:05 AM »
What a little CNC3 birdie told T&T; how Bassant became the bogeyman for football’s albatross.
By Earl Best (Wired868).


David John-Williams is standing on the par-5 fifth tee at the golf course at Savonetta, addressing his tee ball with his driver.  Investigative notes in hand, Mark Bassant ‘ambushes’ him.

“Is your middle name Apullnaris?” he asks.

Startled, the ex-president blocks his shot.

“Right!” he yells.

Bassant did not need the confirmation; he already knew that, having done his homework.

CNC3’s Bassant and Wired868’s Lasana Liburd started their journalistic journeys in the same place, the Sports Desk at the Trinidad Guardian, around the same time, the early 1990s. Perhaps that is why both have arrived—by very different routes—at the same conclusion, to wit, that David Apullnaris John-Williams is not the best thing for Trinidad and Tobago football.

Unsurprisingly, DAJW does not agree. However, he never quite says so in so many words. What he does use many words to say is that Bassant’s 10 September documentary on CNC3 titled ‘TTFA’s Secret Panama Trail’ was nothing but crap.

In it, Bassant talks a lot about a cuenta bancaria panameńa but, if we are to believe John-Williams, it’s all made up, created, fiction. Nothing but a cuento de hadas trinitario.

In the ex-president’s response, one finds ‘…several articles and […] news stories created by Mr Bassant’ (my emphasis) and ‘all of the allegations made against me are false’. There is too ‘false and defamatory allegations…’ and ‘the untruths, the distortions and the falsehoods’ as well as ‘… odious and contemptible allegations […which] are baseless’.

And here’s the kicker: ‘… attempts to elevate sensationalism and character assassination to the ranks of journalism’.

But, as Liburd points out in his latest story, there is no attempt at refutation. Nary a word.

Liburd, mind you, has always gone out of his way to be fair to the former TTFA big sawatee with the unusual middle name. For example, in a story posted on Wednesday discussing allegations of possible million-USD malfeasance on the part of the ex-president, the Wired868 Editor opts for a headline about DAJW’s successor.

Liburd defends his choice on the grounds that he deemed that angle to be ‘more topical’?

But William Wallace’s major sin, any fair-minded commentator can see, is naiveté, innocence, a lack of street wisdom, being a little unsuspecting sardine in a shark-infested ocean.

Liburd makes links between DAJW and all kinds of people like Veron Mosemba-Ongo. But he steers very clear of the course in the plains of Savonetta.

Not so Bassant. He goes well out of his way to bring fear to DAJW. For over almost half a year, he made several trips—virtually!—to the USA and Panama to unearth possible dirt on the alleged TTFA-president-cum-at-one-and-the-same-time-TTFA’s-House-of-Football-contractor. For any investigative reporter, says Bassant, such journeys are par for the course.

I doubt he was hoping there to show us a Tiger Woods but no such luck. Anyway. All he encounters is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Remember all the promises we heard both before and after the election in November 2015?

“I hear that United TTFA is missing some greenbacks?” the reporter continues. “Do you know how many millions?”

“Fore!” comes the cry.  The ex-president has sliced his drive again.

“Actually,” Bassant says dryly, “it’s more than that. But, say what? What’s a few million between footballing friends?”

The reporter backs off, biding his time. If DAJW finds himself not in the fairway but in the rough or in the bunker, lies are going to be an issue. In fact, if the last answer is any guide, lies are more than likely to be an issue anyway.

So when the ex-president’s iron shot finally comes to rest on the fringes of the green, Bassant seizes his moment.

“What’s in your bag?” he asks pointedly. “Dólares?”

DAJW looks like he has seen a ghost. And he probably has. Chuck Blazer’s. It’s the full tape of Jack Warner and Mohammed Bin Hammam that begins to roll before his eyes.

Strategically, the reporter falls silent again. No point causing anybody’s sudden death, right?

Hole 6 is a par 3. That’s the best place for the ace. And Bassant has one up his sleeve.

As the ball rolls slowly towards the hole: “Where did you putt it?” he inquires. “En Panamá?”

Time to beat a retreat.

“You think I could see your card?” he throws over his shoulder at the ex-president, taking his leave. “Not the TTFA FCB one, the one from your personal account in Republic Bank.”

Bunkered! It’s not often you see a man pull a sand wedge on the green.

But it’s not often either that a former high-flying eagle realises that he’s now an albatross around football’s neck.

And, worse, all of footballing T&T—including Liburd’s Wired868—is about to find it out…

RELATED NEWS

DJW vows action after legal review but yet to rebut specific CNC3 claims.
Wired868.com.


Former Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams has promised libel action against Guardian Media Limited and its investigative reporter Mark Bassant, as well as to clear his name from allegations of financial misconduct related to the Home of Football project.

However, John-Williams has done neither—not yet anyway.

In a press statement this morning, exactly a week after Bassant’s one hour documentary entitled ‘TTFA’s Secret Panama Trail’, John-Williams declared all the allegations false. But he did not offer alternatives to the specific claims made in the CNC3 programme and subsequent Trinidad Guardian newspaper articles.

“Mr Bassant, no doubt in an attempt to immunise himself and GML from liability for their falsity, ambushed me on a golf course,” said John-Williams, “and inundated me with a series of questions and statements which I could not reasonably be expected properly to answer in the course of his ambush. I give the unqualified assurance that there are complete answers to all of Mr Bassant’s allegations.

“I have also been advised that Mr Bassant’s attempt to immunise himself and GML from liability does not have the prophylactic effect for which he and GML undoubtedly wished, and that he and GML are both liable for the false and defamatory allegations contained and made in these articles and television news stories, which they continue to publish and to carry.”

John-Williams said he has ‘engaged’ attorneys, although they have not so much as issued a pre-action protocol letter to GML—let alone initiated libel proceedings. Instead, the W Connection president said his lawyers are reviewing his documentation, after which they should ‘advise’ him. John-Williams expects to lay charges at that point.

He warned that Bassant and CNC3 will ‘pay dearly’ for the allegations.

“I have engaged attorneys-at-law to examine and to advise me on the material which I have in my possession and which is otherwise available to me,” he said, “and which lays bare the untruth, the distortions and the falsehoods contained in these articles and television news stories.

“Once my attorneys-at-law have completed their due diligence, I will be instructing the filing of legal proceedings against GML and Mr Bassant for these odious and contemptible allegations which have caused my family and myself incomprehensible distress.”

John-Williams suggested that his attorneys will decide how much of his supposed defence to Bassant’s allegations will be shared with the public.

“To the extent that I am permitted by my attorneys-at-law to do so, I also propose to make publicly available the material which I have in my possession and which is otherwise available to me,” he said, “which will show all of these allegations to be baseless.”

John-Williams might also have to show his ‘material’ to the Fraud Squad, as the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) opened an investigation into his conduct this week.

Former TTFA president David John-Williams’ full response to TTFA Secret Panama Trail:

Over the past few days, Guardian Media Limited (GML) has published several articles in its Guardian Newspaper and has carried several news stories on its television station, CNC3, all created by Mr Mark Bassant, and in the course of which allegations of wrongdoing have been levelled against me in connection with the construction of the TTFA’s ‘Home of Football’ during my tenure as TTFA president. All of the allegations made against me are false.

Prior to publishing these allegations, Mr Bassant, no doubt in an attempt to immunise himself and GML from liability for their falsity, ambushed me on a golf course and inundated me with a series of questions and statements which I could not reasonably be expected properly to answer in the course of his ambush.

I give the unqualified assurance that there are complete answers to all of Mr Bassant’s allegations.

I have also been advised that Mr Bassant’s attempt to immunise himself and GML from liability does not have the prophylactic effect for which he and GML undoubtedly wished, and that he and GML are both liable for the false and defamatory allegations contained and made in these articles and television news stories, which they continue to publish and to carry.

I have engaged attorneys-at-law to examine and to advise me on the material which I have in my possession and which is otherwise available to me and which lays bare the untruth, the distortions and the falsehoods contained in these articles and television news stories.

Once my attorneys-at-law have completed their due diligence, I will be instructing the filing of legal proceedings against GML and Mr Bassant for these odious and contemptible allegations which have caused my family and myself incomprehensible distress. Further, after their review thereof and to the extent that I am permitted by my attorneys-at-law to do so, I also propose to make publicly available the material which I have in my possession and which is otherwise available to me, which will show all of these allegations to be baseless.

In the meantime, I deprecate in the strongest terms possible GML’s and Mr Bassant’s attempts to elevate sensationalism and character-assassination to the ranks of journalism and I await my day in court when I will clear my name and cause GML and Mr Bassant to account dearly for their libel.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Flex

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Re: Home of Football Thread
« Reply #230 on: September 22, 2020, 01:51:41 AM »
DJW disputes date in CNC3 report; Bassant: Doesn’t change crux of issue.
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868).


Eight days after CNC3 aired an hour long investigative report on former Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams entitled ‘TTFA’s Secret Panama Trail’, the controversial administrator has offered his first rebuttal.

In one clip during the programme, CNC3 investigative journalist Mark Bassant told viewers: “Shipping sources say that John-Williams told them he didn’t have any US currency to clear the containers, even though in 2017 Fifa gave the TTFA that $2 million US in funding towards the Home of Football project under Fifa’s Forward Development Programme.

“In addition to the funding from the Fifa Forward Development Programme for the project, the TTFA got another 1.25 million US. This money came from the annual allocation given by Fifa to all federations to assist with operational costs of National Associations.

“After the disbursement of the project’s funding, Fifa’s Development Programme Manager, Solomon Mudege, in July 2017, made a list of stipulations which the TTFA should follow.”

John-Williams, via a press statement, said he was ‘cleared’ by his legal team to ‘issue the following statement of fact’ regarding that specific claim.

“As of July 2017, the TTFA had not even yet submitted its application for the Home of Football Project,” said John-Williams. “The TTFA’s application was submitted on 15 August 2017 and was approved by Fifa on 5 September 2017. The TTFA received its first disbursement of USD 900,000 in November 2017.

“Further, the lease for the land to be used for the project was given on 3 August 2017 by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. No approval could have been given by Fifa without this lease.”

In essence, Bassant said the TTFA received funding in July but, according to ‘DJW’, that money actually came in November.

Does a mix-up of dates in one soundbite cast aspersions over their entire documentary?

Bassant accepted the error but noted that, earlier in the hour long show, he did say that TTFA received the money from Fifa ‘in tranches’, starting in 2017. John-Williams’ correction, he suggested, does not impact on the more damning aspects of the investigative report, which alleged that the administrator might have diverted football money into a secret Panamanian account.

“The month was an error but the money was approved within virtually a month [of that July date],” Bassant told Wired868. “[…] It doesn’t change anything in the story… I said it was July but it was approved by Fifa in September, after the land was granted by the government in August.

“[…] The fact of the matter was Fifa gave them the money in 2017 for the Home of Football—that’s the crux of it. He still fails to answer the fact: why didn’t he pay the shipping fees in 2018, when he had already paid for all the material?”

John-Williams, according to Bassant’s investigation, paid US$283,000 to Panamanian company, Ecotec, between February and April 2018 for material. But then supposedly did not have money to clear the goods.

Where, Bassant asked, did the other US$617,000 go?

John-Williams offered another ‘fact check’ to the TTFA’s Secret Panama Trail. Bassant said, in the programme, that the TTFA received US$1.25 million from the Fifa Forward programme in 2017, which represented its annual subvention.

The former president disagreed.

“Additionally in 2017, the TTFA, as well as all member associations of Fifa, received a sum of USD 500,000 for its operational costs,” said John-Williams. “The TTFA did not receive USD 1.25 million.”

The Fifa website stipulates that all member associations with ‘an annual revenue of USD 4 million or less’ are entitled to financial support from the governing body, which is broken into two payments of US$500,000 plus US$250,000 ‘in order to support their travel and equipment needs’.

Almost certainly, this is how Bassant came up with the figure of US$1.25 million. However, the US$250,000 is not handed over to the association—but rather credited to meet specific bills for travel and equipment.

And, after the first tranches of US$500,000 is paid in January, the respective member association must earn the second figure of half a million USD by fulfilling up to 10 specific activities.

The activities (which are rewarded by Fifa with a payment of US$50,000 each) include:

1. ‘Organising men’s, women’s and youth competitions (two age groups for both girls and boys)—each competition should involve at least ten clubs for at least 90 matches and for at least six months each year’;

2. ‘Having active men’s, women’s and youth national teams—each one participating in at least four matches per year’;

3. ‘Having a functioning and regularly updated IT player registration and competition management system (provided free of charge by Fifa if needed); and

4. ‘Having men’s and women’s refereeing programmes’.

It is uncertain whether the John-Williams-led administration met Fifa’s criteria for additional funding in 2017. There was certainly no ‘functioning and regularly updated IT player registration and competition management system’ while only three teams—the Men’s National Senior Team, Boys’ National Under-15 Team and Women’s National Under-17 Team—played four times that year.

Women’s coach Carolina Morace, who had authority over the entire women’s programme, quit in 2017, after barely six months on the job, and took her staff with her. Morace cited breach of contract by John-Williams.

Fifa also ruled against the TTFA in several contractual matters over the last five or six years, and withheld money from the twin island republic to satisfy such judgments. It is uncertain whether John-Williams lost some expensive cases at Fifa level that year.

John-Williams did not explain why Trinidad and Tobago may have gotten only half of the money on offer from the Fifa Forward programme that year. He only said that Bassant was wrong on that score.

Bassant, incidentally, has stood by his claim regarding the allocation money.

Still, the CNC3 allegations go much deeper than that and the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) has already asked its Fraud Squad to investigate further.

John-Williams promised more answers ‘in the coming days’.

“It is my hope that in the coming days, I will be cleared by my attorneys to issue further statements of fact which will further expose the untruths, the distortions and the falsehoods contained in GML’s and Mr Bassant’s articles and television news stories,” stated John-Williams, “as I await my day in court when I will clear my name and cause GML and Mr Bassant to account dearly for their libel.”

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline ABTrini

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Re: Home of Football Thread
« Reply #231 on: September 22, 2020, 07:49:32 AM »
Did we really need a dedicated HoF? Could upgrades not have been done to the Has,et Crawford Stadium?
Could funds not have been better deployed on paying off debts to players and coaches and divert into operational costs to enhance programming as oppose to new capital costs?

Are the entrusted leaders just dunce or greedy?

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Re: Home of Football Thread
« Reply #232 on: September 22, 2020, 08:10:09 AM »
Did we really need a dedicated HoF? Could upgrades not have been done to the Has,et Crawford Stadium?
Could funds not have been better deployed on paying off debts to players and coaches and divert into operational costs to enhance programming as oppose to new capital costs?

Are the entrusted leaders just dunce or greedy?

We didn't need it - they needed to actually take back the one Jack Warner stole, or expand on existing facilities. Total vanity project that DJW could funnel his construction companies through to earn side money.

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John-Williams confirms doing business with ECOTEC
« Reply #233 on: September 22, 2020, 10:55:50 AM »
John-Williams confirms doing business with ECOTEC
By Mark Bassant (T&T Guardian)


Former T&T Football Association boss David John-Williams has further confirmed findings of a CNC3 investigative documentary titled “TTFA’s Secret Panama Trail” by admitting for the first time that he brokered a deal with the Panama-based company ECOTEC for structural materials for the Home of Football project in Couva.

Furthermore, he says he paid ECOTEC US$282,418.97 (TT$1.97m) upfront for their services in February 2018, as the documentary also uncovered.

The admission came more than three years after the deal which former TTFA executives were kept in the dark about the deal until it was disclosed in the documentary, and at a time when former and the most recent TTFA executives were still trying to decipher who exactly the project’s main contractor was until evidence uncovered by Guardian Media pointed to John-Williams himself.

In a 20-page release yesterday, John-Williams provided documents showing he did business with ECOTEC and paid them on February 21, 2018.

ECOTEC commercial director Juan Alvarado had confirmed to Guardian Media that payment was needed before the material could be delivered to Trinidad. The material was delivered in late February and the months of March and April of 2018.

The payment was made in the form of a First Citizens wire transfer from the TTFA’s FC bank account on February 21, after the TTFA wrote to FC Senior Operations Manager Angus Mc Neil about the wire transfer that was signed off by John-Williams and the association’s then finance administrative manager Tyril Patrick.

The evidence provided proof that the FC payment was made in its entirety to ECOTEC and John-Williams said in his release, “The TTFA did not operate any account at RBC or Republic Bank during my tenure. At no time did ECOTEC request the TTFA to pay its invoice via RBC or Republic Bank. TTFA paid ECOTEC’s invoice from its US FIFA Funds account at First Citizens Bank.”

When Guardian Media confronted John-Williams several weeks ago, we had detailed invoices stamped which said, “I hereby declare that this is the only invoice received in connection with the good enumerated therein payment has/will be made through RBC bank.”

However, John-Williams refused to answer questions on the validity of those documents. In his first media release on the issue last week, John Williams claimed he was ambushed while playing golf in Couva. However, he was given a fair chance to answer questions about ECOTEC and others surrounding the Home of Football project long before the golf course interview but chose not to.

By confirming payment to ECOTEC in February in 2018 yesterday, however, John-Williams confirmed shipping sources information that when the containers came in February, March, and April 2018, John-Williams did not pay the shipping costs at that time.

This only a few weeks after he paid ECOTEC US$282,418.97 and by his own volition, received almost US one million through FIFA’s Forward Development Programme for the project in November 2017.

Documents showed that demurrage of US$53,000 was racked up while containers sat at the Port-of-Spain Port for weeks after it arrived. John-Williams still has not answered why.

In his release yesterday, John-Williams claimed that he “did not apply for and was not granted any loan from CONCACAF for $400,000 in March 2016 or any other sum and all applications were made by the TTFA with the approval of its board.”

The Guardian Media investigative never mentioned any loan in 2016 but showed proof of a document for 2017 that showed John-Williams and CONCACAF’s General Secretary Phillip Moggio signing off on a loan for US$600,000, in which the conditionality was that the loan be paid back by the end of 2017 or it would accrue interest.

John-Williams claimed the then-board knew about this 2017 CONCACAF loan.

“The board of the TTFA and its members were fully aware of all loans from CONCACAF and the purpose of the loans,” he said.

However, at least two former TTFA board members we spoke to on condition of anonymity said they had no knowledge of the loan.

“If that loan was taken in 2017, I can say I knew nothing about it,” of former board member said.

Another former TTFA member added, “The initial loan may have been mentioned, but I will have to check my records, but I don’t recall hearing anything further after that.”

In fact, in the documents John-Williams provided yesterday of the audited statements of the TTFA for 2016-2017, the 2017 CONCACAF loan was noted there.

Quite peculiar in the documents provided by John-Williams was that the FIFA Forward funding money showed up in the 2016 financial statement but there nothing for 2017 or 2018.

Former TTFA member Ramesh Ramdhan told Guardian Media that when they got into office in November 2019, they only knew about the outstanding 2017 CONCACAF loan after a letter was sent by CONCACAF’s Chief Financial Officer Alejandro Lesende outlining the entire amount being owed including the interest of US$662,000.

John-Williams also sought to rebut issues related to the FIFA funding for the Home of Football.

John-Williams had admitted when the project got going that FIFA approved US$2.25m for the project to be paid in tranches. Guardian Media explained this, also outlining the 2019 disbursement and the difference with the operational funding, stating US$700,000US was given in January of that year with the other US$500,000 due by July.

Yesterday, however, John-Williams claimed in 2019 he did not receive the entire FIFA Forward allocation.

“As at September 2019, the TTFA applied for and received the aggregate sum of US$655,495.88 against its allocation and not US$2 million, as insinuated,” John-Williams said.

However, the document obtained by Guardian Media from John-Williams himself clearly showed the money was broken down and sent in tranches for both the Home of Football and separately for operational costs incurred by the TTFA.

FIFA Veron Mosengo-Omba responded to now-ousted TTFA president William Wallace’s request in February 2020 about the FIFA Forward money. In his response, Mosengo-Omba made no mention that money had already been given to the TTFA under John-Williams in 2019.

John-Williams confirmed the money had already been issued in his latest media release.
The Conquering Lion of Judah shall break every chain.

Offline asylumseeker

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Re: Home of Football Thread
« Reply #234 on: September 22, 2020, 01:35:48 PM »
It's worth noting that the former TTFA president has multiple TTFA documents at his fingertips.

It's not a best practice for persons with fiduciary responsibility to take "an organization" home with them at the conclusion of their tenure. In this particular instance, it's unlikely that some of the pertinent documentation ever made it TO the office at all. Of course, this is part of a larger TTFA failing ... failure by many to act as fiduciaries.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2020, 03:41:51 PM by asylumseeker »
"My son’s identity has also been reduced to that of ... as a racist. I want this court to know that none of these things are true and that my son is a good man. A lengthy sentence will not serve Derek well.” --- Carolyn Pawlenty, mother of Derek Chauvin, prior to the court issuing a light sentence.

Offline Flex

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Re: Home of Football Thread
« Reply #235 on: September 23, 2020, 12:09:32 AM »
DJW: ‘I’m a scapegoat…’ Ex-TTFA president continues Bassant rebuttals.
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868).


Controversial former Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams offered his second attempt at rebutting CNC3’s ‘TTFA’s Secret Trail to Panama’ investigative report today.

The hour long feature, done by senior investigative journalist Mark Bassant on 10 September, alleged that John-Williams diverted football money to a secret Panamanian bank, and questioned his handling of TTFA finances for its Home of Football project.

Last week, John-Williams pointed out that Bassant got the date wrong for Fifa’s approval of the TTFA’s Home of Football and claimed that the local football body received less of the Fifa Forward Programme money for 2017 than the report suggested.

Today, John-Williams questioned whether a Concacaf loan received by TTFA in 2017 was ‘secret’—as Bassant apparently suggested—and again debated figures in the investigative report. He also insisted that the TTFA paid Panamanian company, Ecotech, from its First Citizens Bank account and not Republic Bank or Royal Bank.

“Fifa did not allot US$2 million in 2017 to the TTFA in funding towards the Home of Football project under Fifa’s Forward Development Programme as insinuated by Mr Bassant,” stated John-Williams. “Under the Fifa Forward Development Programme 1.0 which covered the period 2016-2018, Fifa allocated the sum of US$750,000 per year for special projects which included the Home of Football.”

The Fifa Development Committee, as John-Williams already admitted, approved a figure of US$2.25 million for the TTFA, which would be paid in four ‘milestone payments’—with the last due one month after completion of the Home of Football ‘following receipt of a handover document signed between the construction company and your association without reservations’.

Bassant, in that clip, appeared to average downwards and actually understated the money afforded to the John-Williams-led administration.

John-Williams described that as one of ‘the untruths, the distortions and the falsehoods contained in GML’s and Mr Bassant’s recent articles and television news stories’.

Another sticking point for John-Williams was the account used to pay for the TTFA’s material in Panama. The local body has two accounts at First Citizens Bank, through which it receives Fifa funding.

“I have invoices from Jose Alvarado that speaks to moneys being sent to his account from Royal Bank and Republic Bank invoices for the material you ordered from Panama,” stated Bassant, according to transcript offered by John-Williams. “Why did you use the Republic Bank and Royal Bank accounts to pay Ecotec? Whose accounts are those—because I know that TTFA has FCB accounts?”

John-Williams, in his defence, presented a wire transfer document that showed a US$282,418.97 payment from First Citizens Bank to Ecotec.

“The TTFA did not operate any account at RBC or Republic Bank during my tenure as president,” stated the football administrator. “At no time did Ecotec request the TTFA to pay its invoice via RBC and Republic Bank. TTFA paid Ecotec’s invoice from its US Fifa funds account at First Citizens Bank.”

However, Bassant showed John-Williams another document from Ecotec commercial director Juan Alvarado, during the CNC3 programme, which identified Republic Bank as the financial body through which ‘payment has/will be made through’.

That particular Ecotec invoice is yet to be explained.

John-Williams also attempted to rebut the claim, made previously by current TTFA president William Wallace, that the outgoing president received an advance of Fifa Forward Development Programme money for the period of 2019-22.

“John-Williams received […] the second tranche […] earlier than usual from Fifa in January 2019, an election year for the TTFA and choosing a new president,” stated Bassant. “Fifa’s Veron Mosengo-Omba failed to inform Wallace that John-Williams had already received that money in January 2019, money that still remain unaccounted for.

“[…] Just like the Concacaf loan that David John-Williams applied for in 2016 and was granted in May 2017—a loan no one knew he had taken to this day and that we uncovered during our investigation.”

John-Williams’ first point, in response, was, arguably, semantics.

“David John-Williams did not apply for and was not granted any loan from Concacaf in the sum of US$400,000 in March 2016 or any sum,” he stated. “Any and all applications to Concacaf were made by the TTFA with the approval of its Board.”

In other words, John-Williams applied for the loan as ‘John-Williams the TTFA president’ and not ‘John-Williams the private citizen’.

Second, John-Williams stated that his administration did not receive the full allocation of US$2 million, although it is uncertain that Bassant claimed otherwise.

“As at September 2019, the TTFA applied for and received the aggregate sum of US$655,495.88 against its allocation and not US$2 million, as insinuated,” stated John-Williams.

Arguably, since the US$2 million represented money due over a four-year cycle, John-Williams—if the figure he gave is accurate—still received more than his share, even if slightly so.

John-Williams also disputed whether any of the loans granted to his administration were secret. By way of evidence, the former president showed excerpts from the TTFA’s annual financial statements, which showed loans and grants from Concacaf and Fifa.

(Curiously, the Fifa Forward grant showed up in the TTFA’s 2016 financial statement, but not in 2017 or 2018.)

“The Board of the TTFA and its members were fully aware of all loans from Concacaf and the purpose of the loans,” stated John-Williams. “All loans were recorded in the audited financial statements of the TTFA for 2016, 2017 and 2018—approved by the TTFA Board as well as passed and approved unanimously by the members of the TTFA at the 2017, 2018 and 2019 Annual General Meetings of the TTFA.”

John-Williams still has not taken legal action against Bassant and the Guardian Media Limited, while many of the programme’s claims remain unanswered. ‘DJW’ vowed to get there though.

Today, John-Williams, who oversaw an almost tripling of the TTFA’s debt during his four-year term, painted himself as a scapegoat for global disenchantment with football corruption.

“It is clear that GML’s and Mr Bassant’s articles and television news stories have used the poor reputation which football administration at the global level has earned itself in the past,” stated John-Williams, “as a cover for making inaccurate, careless and unsubstantiated allegations against me—in the obvious hope that the public, jaded by stories of corruption at the global level in the past, will today accept, without question, the false and distorted imputations and insinuations that they have determined to make against me.

“I am neither responsible for nor have I ever been a part of the debacle which played out at the level of global football administration in the past. And, to the extent permitted by my attorneys, it is my intention to continue to expose the false and distorted allegations and insinuations against me which GML and Mr Bassant have been selling the public, under the guise of investigative journalism.”

Bassant declined the opportunity to respond to John-Williams but suggested that his investigative work into the administrator is far from finished.

At present, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) is also investigating claims against John-Williams.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Flex

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Re: Home of Football Thread
« Reply #236 on: December 08, 2020, 06:21:59 PM »
David John-Williams releases a statement concerning GML reported stories.
Soca Warriors Online Media.


Former Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams reached out to the Soca Warriors Online (SWO) and shared a statement in reference to Guardian Media Limited (GML) newspaper stories created by investigative editor Mark Bassant about allegations of wrongdoing in connection with the construction of the TTFA’s ‘Home of Football’ during his tenure as TTFA President.

In September 2020 reporter Mark Bassant released a story "Truth about the Home of Football" a financial trail of secret Panama deals, a hidden Panamanian bank account and a hefty CONCACAF loan no one had an inkling about are just some of the things unearthed during a year-and-a-half-long Guardian Media investigation into the affairs of the TTFA the former president between 2015 and 2019.

Read below for his complete statement.

STATEMENT BY DAVID JOHN-WILLIAMS FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE TTFA

I issue this statement of fact further to my Statements on September 17th, 18th and 20th 2020 in
response to statements made in GML’s and Mr. Bassant’s articles and television news stories titled
“The Secret Panama Trail”.

FALSE STATEMENTS AND INSINUATIONS BY GML AND MARK BASSANT

“………we discovered a personal off shore bank account belonging to David John-Williams being set up
during this time.”

“So, based on our detailed information you travelled to Panama in 2017 and also in January 2018 and December 2018. to conduct business with ECOTEC or was it also to attend to your Panamanian bank account at BPR Bank that we have discovered with the help of forensic investigators?”

“Following extensive work, sic forensic investigators report identified that the email address had one banking relationship with a bank in Panama named BPR Bank, SA. ”

“The opening of the account happened at the same time the TTFA was struggling to pay its debts with millions being owed. At that same time, the TTFA’s finances were in decline, the account of Williams in an offshore bank was swelling”

STATEMENT OF FACT

I do not have a bank account in Panama nor am I otherwise beneficially entitled to any monies in any bank account in Panama including BPR Bank S.A, whether through COLSOL Investment Corporation or SOREG Incorporation.

Notarised documents provided by attorneys in Panama show that neither myself nor Soreg Inc. and Colsol Investment Corporation have any bank accounts, fixed term loans or loans with BPR Bank, S.A. or used any services of BPR Bank for bank transfers or any transaction of any nature. Mr. Bassant’s and GML’s statements on this score are untruthful fabrications.

FALSE STATEMENTS AND INSINUATIONS BY GML AND MARK BASSANT

“Guardian Media obtained the information regarding two Panamanian companies called SOREG Incorporation and COLSOL Investment Corporation in which the name David John-Williams appeared as a director among several other names. In the forensic investigative report it said the deposits to the BPR Bank account were received from SOREG Incorporation and COLSOL Investment Corporation.”

01105454-1

“Forensic investigators alleged that John-Williams inserted his name into these companies listed as a Director and Secretary. This, they say, made it easier for him to then approach BPR Bank, SA to open an account and may have later transferred the money.”

STATEMENT OF FACT

I have never been a director or held any office in Colsol Investment Corporation or Soreg Inc. Notarized documents from the public companies’ registry in Panama provided by attorneys in Panama show that a David John Williams domiciled in Hong Kong was listed as a director/secretary in Consol Investment Corporation or Soreg Inc. in 1978 and 1979. In 1978 to 1979 I was attending secondary school.

Mr. Bassant’s and GML’s statements on this score are untruthful fabrications.

Documentary Proof: The relevant documents are attached (click here). Once you click on the PDF file link, navigate to the left of the page to see list of full and other documents.

David John-Williams


« Last Edit: December 09, 2020, 08:19:39 AM by Flex »
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Offline Flex

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Re: Home of Football Thread
« Reply #237 on: January 06, 2021, 02:11:09 AM »
Home of Football could be mortgaged to clear TTFA debt.
By Walter Alibey (T&T Guardian).


Mortgaging of the now controversial Home of Football is one of several considerations by the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee which is headed by chairman Robert Hadad and his committee members that comprise attorney Judy Daniel and businessman and former banker Nigel Romano, to clear the debt of the T&T Football Association which is estimated to be in the region of TT$70 million at present.

Speaking to Guardian Media Sports on Monday, Hadad confirmed that his committee will try everything possible to clear a debt, which has crippled the country's football for many years. The debt, according to Hadad, was $48 million at the end of 2019, a TTFA audited financial statement showed.

However, it went up by $20 million to $22 million under the William Wallace-led administration, which took over from David John-Williams on November 24, 2019. Wallace and his three vice presidents - Clynt Taylor, Joseph Sam Phillips, and Susan Joseph-Warrick, were removed by FIFA on March 17, 2020, after FIFA visited the TTFA in February to conduct an audit.

Now with a mandate to: run the TTFA'S daily affairs; establish a debt repayment plan that is implementable by the TTFA; to review and amend the TTFA Statutes (and other regulations where necessary) and to ensure their compliance with the FIFA Statutes and requirements before duly submitting them for approval to the TTFA Congress; and to organise and to conduct elections of a new TTFA Executive Committee for a four-year mandate, Hadad said they will have to consider all options available to them, inclusive of mortgaging the Home of Football, but they would rather use it to generate income.

"With respect to who is going to repay this debt, we have put a few offers on the table and we will have to wait to see what guidance we get from FIFA and CONCACAF as to which way to move forward. We will definitely have to borrow this money from some means or look at the Home of Football to see what we could do if we could mortgage it, could we get some of this money from FIFA or CONCACAF, we are discussing that right now," Hadad explained.

He followed: "In addition to that, that is just the superficial plan, we would love to keep the Home of Football going, we would love to get teams in here, training and using the Home of Football, and the facilities around the Home of Football, and that could be a money earner, so we are looking at ways and means of earning money. The other method of earning money would be sponsorships and government assistance."

"We are going to reach out to the government, we have already asked for a meeting with the Minister of Sports Shamfa Cudjoe and Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, we have already met with Douglas Camacho from the Sports Company of T&T. We are looking at ways and means of building trust as we are prepared to be transparent as possible so that we can design a way forward and get the association out of where it is," Hadad explained.

Ironically though, Cudjoe in May last year urged the Wallace administration to allow the normalisation committee to take over as mandate by the sport's world governing body, as she said publicly that the government was in no position to bail out the embattled football association from the debt that crippled it.

Cudjoe was also quoted as telling the TTFA that if there's assistance coming from the parent body, concerning dealing with the financial affairs of the association that they should accept it.

The Home of Football is being used as a step-down facility in the government's covid-19 fight since April. The government renovated the facility in Couva to meet the needs of a healthcare facility.

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Re: Home of Football Thread
« Reply #238 on: January 07, 2021, 05:12:02 PM »
Hadad tells health ministry: TTFA may need Home of Football soon.
By Narissa Fraser (Newsday).


CHAIRMAN of the TT Football Association’s (TTFA) normalisation committee Robert Hadad is hoping the Home of Football can soon be used for its intended purpose and not as a step-down facility for covid19 patients.

He revealed this in an interview with Newsday on Wednesday afternoon.

The US$2.5 million, 72-room facility in Balmain, Couva was opened in November 2019 by former TTFA president David John-Williams. It was built to serve as a hotel for local and visiting teams.

The opening ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister, FIFA president Gianni Infantino and other Concacaf and FIFA representatives. There are two training fields, bedrooms, kitchens, balconies, bathrooms, lounges and conference rooms. But it was shut down just one week after it was opened as there was no property insurance and it was uncertified by the Fire Service.

Last April, the South-West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) announced the building would be used as a step-down facility in the fight against the covid19 virus. Back then, Hadad said he applauded the decision. He had said, “We are extremely pleased to assist in the efforts to combat covid19 in any way possible.

“This is for the benefit of our country at this time and we remain committed to the cause.” But with 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup qualifiers approaching, and with the TTFA eyeing friendlies with Dominica, Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines, Hadad told Newsday the normalisation committee needs to begin discussions with the Health Ministry on regaining access to the facility.

He said, “Yes, we would like to start using it. And when that will happen – I don’t know.

“We obviously have to meet with the Minister of Health, we have to talk to the Minister of National Security and see how possible it is for us to create our own bubble...The intention is to get the Home of Football back to use for the purpose it was intended (for).

But as much as he wishes to regain access to the facility, he said the future of the building remains uncertain as “anything is on the table” to assist the TTFA with its looming $70 million debt.

He said, “Home of Football being mortgaged is on the table, Home of Football being sold is on the table because we definitely need to get money (from) somewhere.

He said, “All we are talking about are the possibilities. We are not sure what path we will take. All of these are just suggestions.”

Newsday tried to contact Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh for a comment but, he said he was in a meeting.

Newsday also contacted senior men’s national football team coach Terry Fenwick who preferred not to comment on the matter.

Former TTFA president William Wallace and his executive – who only spent four months in office – were removed by FIFA and replaced by the normalisation committee last March.

This had led to months of legal battles as they challenged this decision, the TTFA’s suspension by FIFA, and the eventual backing down of Wallace and his team, which saw the suspension lifted.

Hadad said while his tenure as chairman of the normalisation committee has been “overwhelming,” it has not been more than he expected.

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Re: Home of Football Thread
« Reply #239 on: January 14, 2021, 02:29:20 AM »
Deyalsingh: Decision on Home of Football soon.
By Narissa Fraser (T&T Newsday).


HEALTH Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said after the ministry re-assesses the parallel healthcare system, it will decide whether the Home of Football in Couva will continue to be used as a step-down facility.

Last week, chairman of the TT Football Association’s (TTFA) normalisation committee Robert Hadad said as 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup qualifiers near, it may soon need the facility back.

The US$2.5 million facility in Balmain, Couva was opened in November 2019.

Hadad said, “We obviously have to meet with the Minister of Health, we have to talk to the Minister of National Security and see how possible it is for us to create our own bubble...The intention is to get the Home of Football back to use for the purpose it was intended (for).”

But in a virtual press conference on Wednesday morning, Deyalsingh said no formal notification of this had been made yet, but he has “noted the comments in the media.

“(At 1.30 pm) Principal Medical Officer Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards is meeting with me and our disaster management unit, together with the permanent secretary and the Chief Medical Officer (Dr Roshan Parasram) to do a total review of our parallel healthcare system in terms of capacity in case we have to take Home of Football out of the grid…And after that, we should have a response.”

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.