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Warner named in Haitian aid scandal; FIFA stops TTFF funding

Trinidad and Tobago Works Minister and ex-FIFA Vice President Jack Warner is a central figure in a fresh financial scandal after an exclusive report by the UK Sunday Times revealed that close to $4.4 million (US$690,000) donated by FIFA and South Korea never made it to the Federation of Haitian Football (FHF).

Warner, in his capacity as CONCACAF and Caribbean Football Union (CFU) president, collected $4.76 million (US$750,000) on behalf of Haiti after the Caribbean island was stunned by a massive earthquake on 12 January 2010.

The Haitian government estimated that 316,000 persons were killed including over 30 football officials as the FHF building was reduced to rubble.

However, FHF Yves Jean-Bart told Sunday Times reporters, James Corbett, Jonathan Calvert and Heidi Blake that only $381,000 (US$60,000) made it to grief-stricken nation from the aid money allegedly given to Warner.

Ex-FIFA VP and National Security Minister Jack Warner

“Warner always told me your money is there, is available, any time,” Jean-Bart told the Times, “but I didn’t get it.”

Wired868 attempted to contact Warner by phone but the Chaguanas West MP has not yet responded to enquiries.

FIFA today confirmed to Wired868.com that it wired $1.6 million (US$250,000) to the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) account to be used as emergency aid in Haiti.

The TTFF has been unable to properly account for the missing money and, as a result, FIFA will stop funding the local football body until further notice.

“We can confirm that FIFA wired immediately after the devastating earthquake USD 250,000 as an emergency aid for Haiti to the account of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF),” the FIFA Media Office told Wired868. “This was on request of the then CONCACAF President Jack Warner and subsequently transferred to the TTFF account, in order to immediately provide support to Haiti.

“FIFA can also confirm that it had been informed by the Haiti Football Association (FHF) in autumn 2011 that it had only received USD 60,000 of this emergency aid.”

FIFA further informed Wired868 that the TTFF will feel the brunt of its sanctions for failing to account for the money.

“Consequently FIFA, in a letter, requested in October 2011 a full explanation from the TTFF into those funds,” stated FIFA. “As FIFA has not received any satisfactory response FIFA has stopped with immediate effect any payments to the TTFF until it will receive proper accounts of these funds allocated as an immediate relief support to the FHF.”

FIFA provides each member association with an annual subvention of $1.6 million (US$250,000).

The FIFA Media Office did not respond to Wired868 query as to why Haiti’s aid money was sent through the TTFF and not via a CONCACAF or CFU account.

Wired868 emailed the TTFF for response and, allthough an official acknowledged receiving the email, the local body is yet to reply.

Warner toured Port-au-Prince in January 2010 and told Haitians that sport will play its part in helping the restoration of one of the world’s poorest nations.

Jack Warner (left) greets Haitian Jean Degraff who was buried under rubble for two days after the devastating 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince

Apart from FIFA aid, wealthy South Korean businessman and politician, Chung Mong-Joon, who is also a former FIFA vice president, donated $3.2 million (US$500,000) to Haiti’s relief fund. South Korea was bidding to host the 2022 World Cup at the time.

“It is a humanitarian crisis,” said Warner. “Sport is a vehicle for social transformation… Let us share this hope with Haiti so she can rise again.

“FIFA understands its role in inspiring a nation… Let us use sport to ignite hope.”

Warner further promised to coordinate aid efforts for Haiti.

“My friends have told me that they are hungry and in need of basic human supplies,” said Warner. “A tide of hungry humanity surrounds me. How can I not hear their cries for help?

“When I return home I will personally embark on a food drive to get you these supplies.”

Haiti felt that Warner’s actions fell well short of his noble words and complained to FIFA last year.

FIFA subsequently released $2.4 million (US$379,500) to aid the restoration of Haitian football from a special projects fund and provided the FHF with a technical consultant for one year to help set up football development programmes there.

The Times claimed sources close to the Korean Football Association provided payment details that showed their aid money initially went to a CONCACAF bank account in Trinidad. This money also allegedly failed to reach Haiti.

It is unclear whether South Korea or CONCACAF will attempt to locate and recover this funds.

FIFA’s decision to cut funding for the TTFF is another untimely blow to the local body that is fighting half of the 2006 World Cup team in High Court and losing.

The “Soca Warriors” seized all of the TTFF’s removable assets last Wednesday in an effort to service a $4.6 million debt that the organisation failed to satisfy in October 2011. Thirteen 2006 World Cup players, the TTFF and its former President Oliver Camps return to court on Tuesday.

Warner’s disinclination to provide financial accountability will again be a talking point as the ex-FIFA vice president failed to follow Justice Devindra Rampersad’s instructions to provide, by 10 February 2012, written accounts of all income, donations, gifts, grants, benefits and expenditure related to the 2006 World Cup.

The Works Minister, who quit FIFA last June while a subject of bribery allegations, was also subjected to a recent audit by the Finance Ministry over his handling of the Program for Upgrading Road Efficiency (PURE) although the results have not yet been made public.

In the case of the allegedly misplaced Haitian funds, it seems that the TTFF will absorb the brunt of FIFA’s punishment.

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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50 comments

  1. that means that fifa got back their money?

  2. While I don’t condone wrong doing I’m questioning why hasn’t the U S gone after the red cross organization based in the u s collected half a billion u s dollars for the same Haiti built only 6 small houses and stole the rest …why ??? ….because they are not interested in Haiti their interest is to host the world cup …..it’s all about the almighty dollar

  3. The UNC campaign in 2010 promised us that we wouldn’t end up here. A Minister of National Security? Security? Epic fail Kamla!

  4. Putting all the apocalyptic predictions and postulating aside and dealing with the here and now, this man is a real animal stealing from a Nation in crisis. Haiti broken and devastated and he took their money?

  5. Birds fly high but comes right down to die.

  6. TTFA has to pay Jack to rent it. Imagine that. A facility that the TTFA should be making money from and available to them for football activities. But yeah, Jack is a hero. #ChoosingBarabas #NoSympathy

  7. Or and what about the Centre of Excellence that should really belong to the TTFA and our footballers eh, he then captured it like it was his own and now that he is renting out the halls for weddings and other engagements steeuuppss Them really good yes.

  8. 1974 when he didn’t lodged any protest when we were robbed in Haiti , 1989 when he sold the game to the America, 2006 our Soca Warriors had to take him to court to get their monies after 10yrs and JW still didn’t pay from his own pockets he fooled untie Kamla into doing so , the under 17 World Cup in our sweet country where he and his family control all the monies from hotel to food to game tickets so it is about over 30 yrs the man has been fooling mucho people and then going to the bank smiling and I can buss some more flies on a few more things eh. Them really good yes.

  9. Alana Morton yuh must tell them to look up the meaning of SOCIOPATH and then they will all understand who the corrupted Jack Warner is and what he is all about and the sickness that he has there is no cure for it the only way to deal with SOCIOPATHS is to cut them of entirely or lock them away in prison for a very long time or forever .Them really good yes.

  10. Let’s not forget the money provided to the TTFF by our government to fund football. You think those funds were not diverted too? You forget that when the judge in the Soca Warriors matter requested to see the accounts, Jack and Oliver Camps refused? Camps ended up being levied upon. Camps also chose to resign when he found himself neck deep in the cesspool. Don’t pretend our tax dollars didn’t jump up too.

    I recall, prior to 2006, Jack demanded a blank check be provided to them. When that demand was refused, I remember Mandela being brought here on a “state visit” without the state being involved and protocols were discarded because Jack wanted to show what he could do.

    Even before, in 1989 when tickets were oversold, Jack managed to take the money directly out of people’s pockets. So imagine my disgust when I hear people regurgitating Jack’s narrative, defending him and proclaiming him a hero. #ChoosingBarabas #NoSympathy

  11. Jack I am not going to judge you i wanted to but, because the bible said judge not to be judge, because the same measure you judge will be judge back to you. So I am not going to do God’s work

  12. All part of the game…Lasana……

  13. The money was sent to a TTFA account that Warner had influence over. And then it was whisked away.
    They are political games Chris Tanner. FIFA should have sent the money to the CONCACAF account. And yet they pretended it was the TTFA’s fault for not ensuring money was properly used. So TTFA was bullied.
    Australia says it ran a clean campaign with Peter Hagitay involved?
    South Africa gave a man US$10 million for a fund with no proof that the fund existed or was even being set up?
    All nonsense. They are implicit and they know it.

  14. how does TandT get blamed ?

  15. he stole FIFA money headed for Haiti via CONCACAF … am I right ?

  16. Trin Bagonian, start the petition, ah signing it fuss!

  17. He rellllllll thief and shame dong our country boy!

  18. Jack end will come when God says so!! He was sleeping with his enemies and had no idea, if Peter denied JESUS who is. Jack to be DENIED???

  19. Exactly….such idiotic thinking…is beyond ridiculous and so lame…plus…it’s not really a good defense….why does it not make a difference that a man in public office and part of government has been caught stealing millions…? Any other person who got deported for crimes, can they become acting pm too?

  20. I think Haiti got about $15.00, the price of the case of water ( back then) that he carried.

  21. And what about tax dollars being used to pay the Soca Warriors while Warner is yet to account for all the WC sponsorship money? Yet people insist he did us nothing.

  22. Sure right Alana…! Gosh…where’s de “ah luv it” button when you need one? 🙂

  23. smh…ent…Savitri? Look like they thought the truth would have been hidden forever…

  24. Prekay pon prekay. …….and 1/2 the truth hasn’t been exposed.

  25. I thought Robin Hood never stole from Trinidad?

  26. Jack Warner stole from everybody and dem dunce people in our sweet country are still feeling sorry for him steeuppsss Them really good yes

  27. Yes but it had to be sported by cabinet like the $6 million fire truck tow

  28. A rope always comes to an end. Jack’s end is now. Long overdue

  29. And one person asked me if he thief anything from Trinidad.

  30. This matter going str8 privy council

  31. Keizer Sose this is where the real battle is homie the Pandora box is open now

  32. For all the people that cackle about he didn’t steal from us, he stole from FIFA/England/etc.; he stole from us too. Time to stop drinking that green kool-aid and wake up. #NoSympathy #ALiarIsATheif

  33. Since this is an article from 2012…I’d have to say it was already “worse” … unfortunately for us…

  34. Whenever you think it couldn’t get any worse…………

  35. I recommend we demand compensation from all registered ILP members…because everyone knows Jack will never pay us back!

  36. smh it should be a tax on the idiots who still waving ILP flags!

  37. It is unthinkable that Warner retains his position as a minister of government in the face of his refusal to comply with the direction of the court and now added to this is the Hatian football scandal. At the very minimum, he must be removed from this position pending the final determination of these matters. Where is the transparency and accoutability promised by the PM?

  38. How much longer would Austin "Jack" Warner continue with his denials? In the not too distant future "Jack" Warner would provide us with another excuse as it relates to the 4.4 million (US$690,000) donated by FIFA and South Korea for Haiti. Members of the Haiti Football Federation (FHF) James Corbett, Jonathan Calvert and Heidi Blake said that only $381,000 (US$60,000) made it to grief-stricken nation from the aid money allegedly given to Warner. Who has this man not stolen from? There should be a thorough investigation into Austin “Jack” Warner finances in his capacity as a FIFA executive and also as a government minister.

  39. jack on to the last straw.

    g

  40. Will Jack sneak through the open TTFF window ? If he does, then the PM will certainly feel justified in ignoring. Wish FIFA would answer why the money was disbursed via TTFF/Jack to Haiti and why they do not have a system to check for possible fraud. I guess it shows how little they really value the money that was sent. Just spare change.

  41. How is this man still a gov't minster

  42. Wow……..how low can he get……Let's see if the Prime Minister remains quiet still after this……….