Silent PM/Sport Minister betray W/Cup footballers

I’m extremely disappointed that, for the second occasion, a letter that we spent a lot of thought and time on seems to have been ignored by Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

Twelve other 2006 World Cup players and myself—who are involved in this litigation against the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation—are lost for words and disenchanted with the Honourable Prime Minister’s silence.

I understand that the Prime Minister is a very busy person but, in my opinion, she has no excuse for not acknowledging receipt of our correspondence. It is disrespectful, not only to my teammates and I, but also to the citizens of my homeland since taxpayers directly contributed at least $80 million of the TTFF’s 2006 World Cup revenue.

I am presuming—although I still hope I’m wrong—that the Prime Minister isn’t bothered if a member of her government, Works Minister Jack Warner, is yet to account for over $200 million that my team mates, myself and our beloved fans helped generate when we qualified for the 2006 World Cup.

The Sports Dispute Resolution Panel (SDRP) and the Trinidad and Tobago High Court have ruled that the TTFF—and, by extension, Jack Warner—owes us wages. Surely, as Warner’s boss, she should ask him why he hasn’t fulfilled his contractual obligation and not accounted for over $80 million in taxpayers’ money.

Sports Minister Anil Roberts has ignored us as well.

“Sub judice” seems to be Roberts’ favourite catchphrase which he uses repeatedly to duck difficult questions. Someone needs to tell him that we have already won our case and the only outstanding issue is locating reliable accounts so the Judge can determine our full entitlement. So his repeated statements of “sub judice” are laughable to intelligent people.

Roberts should be telling his fellow MP, Warner, and the TTFF that the players need to be paid and Warner needs to account for all the missing money. But he won’t.

The Sports Ministry continues to fund the TTFF, through a third party, although the organisation has been chastised and penalised by the courts. It makes one wonder if the government fully respects and abides by the law of the land.

Maybe I’m wrong but I think this is a relevant question that the Prime Minister needs to answer.

The Honourable Justice Devindra Rampersad described Warner as a “renegade agent” yet he seems untouchable and I wonder if Persad-Bissesser would dispel that notion.

If Warner is as innocent as he attempts to make people believe, why does he continue to use every possible legal resource to avoid producing accounts? What do you have to hide?

Under these circumstances, it seems bizarre that this person was appointed UNC chairman and is now a member of the Security Council.

I have no interest in politics but the injustice of our case and the lack of support from the Prime Minister make me sick. It defies belief that the Prime Minister, herself a lawyer, would ignore something as serious as this.

I don’t want to be arrogant here but we are Chaconia Gold Medal holders who are being ignored. Similarly, my fellow countrymen who struggle to make ends meet but whose money contributed to our World Cup qualification and participation also need answers.

Warner was identified as the sole individual who knows the whereabouts of the missing funds and perhaps the UNC membership, the Prime Minister and her advisers do not recognise the predicament that he faces.

We plan to soon release all the judgments thus far as well as documents that show that the 2006 World Cup bank account was still in use, two years after it should have been closed down.

There are many other questions that deserve answers including why players were paid with CONCACAF and Caribbean Football Union (CFU) cheques.

I really do hope Persad-Bissessar, Warner, Roberts and TTFF Normalisation Committee chairman Anthony Harford read this.

In all probability, our cries will continue to be ignored but this issue will not go away until the players receive their entitlement and millions are accounted for. We intend to vigorously pursue contempt of court proceedings against ex-TTFF president Oliver Camps, general secretary Richard Groden and interim president Lennox Watson.

Football in Trinidad and Tobago is suffering a painful and agonising death and I implore you to sort this issue.

When you leave office, Madam Prime Minister, how do you want to be remembered?

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About Kelvin Jack

Kelvin Jack is a former Trinidad and Tobago international football team goalkeeper and was first choice at the 2006 Germany World Cup although injury restricted him to one outing against Paraguay. Jack is an ex-San Juan Jabloteh captain and played professionally in the UK with Dundee (Scotland) and Gillingham (England).

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  1. Kam’s & grandson trip to the World Cup cost the taxpayers nothing she says. Eh heh?? Seems like it cost the taxpayers $1.3M USD.

  2. hmmmm I wonder if it is like all those toys distributed every christmas…it was said that no tax payers dollars was spent their either….. just “donations”

  3. and she wants us to believe that right

  4. She said it is not funded by taxpayers.

  5. i also wonder who is paying her bill for the trip to brazil for the world cup, and how many persons will be going with her

  6. thats because we the people of this country are to lay back and we dont let our voices be heard thats why politicians are allowed to get away with doing wrong

  7. Exactly lasana. Where is the justice? If we do somethg…we are penalized but the politicians get away with every form of corruption.

  8. and they say crime does not pay what ah joke

  9. That is the sad reality right there Ramona Ramlogan. I’m glad the players got their money. But essentially, the taxpayers paid twice. And the person who kept the first payment is likely to be allowed to keep it.

  10. when all these things are happining you know for sure ELECTION is coming

  11. Why should the prime minister pay the soca warriors. That is wrong! Where is the money? The person who should pay for it…should be held accountable. Maybe we should all stop paying taxes!!! Politicians r stealing from every avenue and not being held accountable…let us withhold taxes and you will see how fast we will be penalized.

  12. I hope all those who were present for her present now stain their finger for her when that day comes.

  13. This woman is the biggest fraud around.

  14. She couldn’t go Brazil without a good distraction to avoid criticism . He trip just cost US 1.3 million more that’s all .

  15. Irony of ironies, Lasana and Kelvin, about all that money going to something called Lifesport where people don’t do sports, and these poor footballers who do, getting the right old runaround. Beyond awful. I feel their frustration/exasperation. Mess.

  16. The PM loves to say "No further comments" and act as if that resolves the situation. In this instance, her silence seems to affirm the same. It is obvious that Mr. Warner, sorry,… the Honorable Minister Warner, is so deep in the mire that there is no hope of return, should his colleagues wake up and smell the coffee….however they seem content to lie sleeping while the turmoil swirls around them. How much more they can ignore and for how long depends on the tenacity of the people wronged. Do not give up! That is what they are hoping for. They want this all to go away, the Trini way, in which everyone forgets everything when the latest sensation claims the attention of the press. Keep pressing them, persistence won the case of the woman with the unjust judge and it will serve you well in this instance-pray and believe it.

  17. I backing you'll 200% … even if its to make contributions your cause. I always tell people the haves get away with murder while the have nots pay …

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