Sancho collected Central FC qualifying money while Sport Minister

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Sport Minister Brent Sancho could feasibly find himself reported to the Integrity Commission after leaked documentation showed that CONCACAF money due to the Pro League club was diverted into the minister’s personal bank account.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Sport Minister and Senator Brent Sancho. Sancho is a former World Cup 2006 player and CEO of local Pro League club, Central FC. (Courtesy SPORTT)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Sport Minister and Senator Brent Sancho.
Sancho is a former World Cup 2006 player and CEO of local Pro League club, Central FC.
(Courtesy SPORTT)

Then Central FC operations manager Kevin Harrison admitted that he directed CONCACAF to wire US$40,000 (TT$253,000) to a United States-based bank account owned by Sancho. Harrison, who is British, also serves as advisor to the Sport Minister and is paid by the Trinidad and Tobago Government.

The CONCACAF payment was supposed to help the “Couva Sharks” with expenses for their trip to Los Angeles where they faced MLS team, LA Galaxy, in the Champions League.

Sancho was appointed as Sport Minister on 2 February 2015 and has repeatedly insisted that he is not involved in Central business due to the obvious conflict of interest.

The Sport Minister declined comment on the payment to his account. However, Harrison tried to clear it up.

KFC Munch Pack

Why was CONCACAF directed to send money to Sancho in July, five months after his appointment as Sport Minister?

Harrison suggested that the CONCACAF paperwork happened while Sancho was still Central CEO.

Photo: Leaked paperwork shows that CONCACAF made a payment to Sport Minister Brent Sancho.
Photo: Leaked paperwork shows that CONCACAF made a payment to Sport Minister Brent Sancho.

“The only reason I think CONCACAF would have even a record of Brent Sancho,” Harrison told Wired868, “is because we had to apply (for the CONCACAF Champions League) early.”

Wired868 can confirm that Central had not even qualified for the Champions League when Sancho was appointed Sport Minister.

Central only booked its spot in the Champions League on 22 May 2015 after a penalty shoot out win over Haitian club, Don Bosco. And CONCACAF asked qualified teams to send bank details on 28 May 2015.

Why did Harrison not forward the club’s bank details rather than Sancho’s?

“Central didn’t have a US bank account at the time,” said Harrison. “When we filled out all the application forms, the only US account we had access to was Brent’s own. So we put that down for ease of use.”

There is no stipulation that the club needed a US bank account.

Photo: Central FC goal scorer Jean-Luc Rochford (front) and his teammates celebrate with the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship trophy. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC goal scorer Jean-Luc Rochford (front) and his teammates celebrate with the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship trophy.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

More relevantly, Harrison did not explain why Central did not simply open a US account, since CONCACAF gave the Sharks between May 28 and June 12, roughly two weeks, to provide the necessary bank details.

Interestingly, Sancho did not immediately forward the US$40,000 to Central when he received it. Instead, as the Sharks prepared to face Galaxy, other club officials received word that they were due money for their trip to the United States.

Harrison admitted that there was a time lag before Sancho relayed the money to the relevant club officials. In the interim, Central struggled to get visas and tickets in time and the players travelled to Los Angeles in three batches.

They were subsequently thrashed 5-1 by Galaxy.

“We got an enquiry from Central FC (who asked) did you receive money,” said Harrison, “and lo and behold the money was there (in Sancho’s account). I personally got the cheque from Sancho and gave it to someone at the club.

“It was for (around) US$39,000 because there were some charges…

“As far as I am aware, Central FC then opened an account afterwards and directed CONCACAF money to be sent there.

“I have not been involved with Central FC since. They keep me out of the loop.”

Photo: SWO member and Central FC operations director Kevin Harrison (right) presents a $12,000 cheque to Dion Sosa, the local manager for then ailing player Akeem Adams. Adams died on 30 December 2013 after failing to recover from a heart attack. (Courtesy Allan V. Crane/Wired868)
Photo: SWO member and Central FC operations director Kevin Harrison (right) presents a $12,000 cheque to Dion Sosa, the local manager for then ailing player Akeem Adams.
Adams died on 30 December 2013 after failing to recover from a heart attack.
(Courtesy Allan V. Crane/Wired868)

Central FC, the reigning Pro League and Caribbean club champion team, is owned and largely funded by SIS directors and, contrary to common belief, Sancho is not a part-owner.

The relevant SIS officials are rumoured to be now keen to relinquish their role with Central and sell the club to any interested buyer. However, Wired868 could not confirm this potential change in direction and Harrison said he was unaware of any such moves.

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About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief editor at 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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  2. They are cut from they same cloth…

  3. I never knew of any financial issues with the players union.

  4. I think the main problem was having people on the ground and the resources to keep going for a while. Because there was a lot of resistance at the time to a union from Jack Warner and his comrades.

  5. Yeah I understand I myself didn’t know if the transaction really took place eh seeing that they never carried on the Players Association since it seems that they had their own agendas. Them really good yes

  6. I don’t know that Gary Hunt ever gave one million to the sport body. I was abroad for much of Hunt’s term so I’m not certain.

  7. You now go there and start to thief

  8. I dont understand why sone people dont listen to the news and listen to what the football people said about the money.
    People like to jump and put blame

  9. I wonder what ever became of the 1 million dollars eh, that the previous PNM sports minister Gary Hunt gave to the corrupted sports minister Brent Sancho , and Shaka Hislop eh, to help form the Professional Football players Association eh, Mr Live Wire you need to investigate that to eh and maybe he also have that monies in his US account the same. Them really good yes.

  10. Anyone who has followed Wired868 for a while knows that I get on well with Sancho and Harrison. Both wrote at least once for the site and took part in our annual football festival.
    But I won’t pretend to be an idiot for anyone’s benefit.
    Otherwise, like Aneka said, if Toco wants piece of that action then I surely won’t begrudge them. Lol.

  11. Meant to say he shouldn’t have been doing anymore business for Central. Lol

  12. When the corrupted sports minister became the minister in February 2015 he should have been doing anymore business for Central FC anr if I recalled his advisor Kevin Harrison took up the position that the corrupted sport minister at the club , so why did the cash went him and in his US account eh. When I come home on vacation some ago eh, it took me about one hour if so much to open my US account because I have intentions to returning to our sweet country eh, but make certain that IRS and job sends my retirement monies to me so as I said before let the corrupted sports minister and his advisor try their best with their falsified stories eh Steeuuppsss Them really good yes

  13. This thing reeks. The end. If toco/sangre grande want that…god bless dem

  14. Yes, as per my comment about 3 hours ago…that was the inference…to confuse and baffle those tracking it.

  15. Savitri Maharaj I believe that the co-mingling of funds is standard FIFA procedure for facilitating theft!

  16. The chronology of events make any explanation of human error impossible to believe.

  17. And, lest we forget, his bank details were sent by his personal advisor at the Ministry of Sport Kevin Harrison, whose responsibilities at Central FC were, by his own account, immediately downgraded.
    Of course it is even more ironic when the club is run by SIS directors. Maybe God is just laughing at this one.

  18. Central FC must have sent CONCACAF it’s bank details sometime between 28 May and 12 June 2015, that’s three months after Banko became Sports Minister on 2 February 2015.

    So the question is how did Central FC come to send CONCACAF Banko’s personal bank details instead of Central FC’s three months after Banko was supposed to have stopped working for the organization?

    Also why was Banko’s bank details being used for Central FC’s business in the first place?

  19. That is what kamal.havr him doing. Theiving for SIS COMPANY and offcourse he dotish and ent know the system audit will pick up all he theif underlow.for himslef. FOU WAITING FOR ALL OUR SO AND SO. KAMAL FIRST GETTING RAID.

  20. #4 WHEN was the $40k sent to the bonafide CFC account?

  21. I’ve listened to Brent Sancho and Kevin Harrison do interviews. I cannot state for sure what their intention was and if the US$40,000 would have been returned if club officials did not find out about it and ask for the money back.
    But here are the key questions on the issue in my opinion:
    1) When did Brent Sancho become Sport Minister? 2) When did Central FC qualify for the Champions League? 3) When did CONCACAF ask for Central’s bank details?
    1) Sancho become Sport Minister on 2 February 2015.
    2) Central qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League on 22 May 2015.
    3) CONCACAF gave Central FC between 28 May and 12 June 2015 to send bank details.
    So if anything you read or hear anywhere makes you doubt whether there is a story here or not. Just revisit those questions and answers.

  22. At first I thought it was Sancho’s naïveté that determine his acceptance of the ministerial post. The rumblings with Tim Lee and now this suggests that sheep has now become the fox or was the fox playing sheep all along

  23. Yuh know ah man done dub him ‘Banko’ already?

    Trinis eh easy! LOL

  24. Na, when he accepted the money due by the TTFA/JW

  25. Greer Sanko’s morals came into question the moment he accepted a ministerial appointment from Kamla!

  26. “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.

    ~Abraham Lincoln”

  27. Same ole same ole. Sure he has some crap ass excuse.

  28. Well one way to test character ….put him in the mess and see if he sink or float ….on the basis of character well he seems to have been ……. infiltrated …. allegedly …..

  29. he learn from jack- why does concacaf not get proper authorisation for fund remittances- its why all them in concacaf – blazer – jack etc had fun

  30. True Trini Don, he should have stay clear out of that mess

  31. What morals Greer Cave ??? After seeing what this govt did in 5 yrs he stillbjoin dem…

  32. What makes this look bad is it brings his morals into question.

  33. That was from ‘Triniscene’ Greer Cave..don’t know who wrote it

  34. Triniscene

    “Dear Brent,
    We can call you, Brent, right? It is so weird referring to you as Minister Sancho after having for so long seen you as one of “us”; the people, fighting against the injustices and tyranny of the “system”. You have led strikes for better conditions for our national team when having ice packs at training was not the norm. You were one of the faces of the Soca Warriors battle against the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation(TTFF)and their Special Advisor Jack Warner. This helped open the “rabbit-hole” that has him answering FBI charges today. Peter Crouch pulling your hair in the World Cup made that ras become a national ras when it happened. Your hair, was OUR hair!
    When you were first appointed Minister of Sport and a Senator, many were surprised…and a bit confused as well especially when the Prime Minister kept calling you ‘Sanko’ but we figured it had to be you she meant. However, we said Brent is one of us let’s give him a chance, maybe he can bring the change the People’s Partnership promised.
    In the little time you have had in the job we have given you the benefit of the doubt in terms of your ideas and visions for sport. Apart from the wrangling with the TTFA (more on that later), we have seen an athlete- centric approach, more movement toward public-private partnerships, a focus on the female teams and an increase in community interaction and events by international sportsmen and women. Albeit, compared to your predecessor, almost anything you did would be better than the controversies that followed him a la Lifesport, car accidents and two videos that were social media hits.
    Now, back to the TTFA issues. Yes, the TTFA as the TTFF was dissolved after you led a court-case that resulted in that organisation’s bankruptcy and subsequent rebranding.
    We recognise that the mayor of our capital city and your good self have been at loggerheads for some time. Whether its personal, political or professional we are not sure but the average man on the street does not believe that you would want to rob the Soca Warriors of money after leading the battle from the other side for so long.Thus, we gave you the benefit of the doubt when you described his Lordship as “Jack Warner” reincarnated. It would be believable that it was the TTFA at fault based on their past history. Now though, we are wondering who really is displaying behaviour that reminds us of the rumours that dogged Jack Warner throughout his career in the football world.
    As a minister, you are supposed to resign from your day job and be a Minister full time. However, after winning the TTPro League there was a dispute between the players of Central FC and the management of the club over bonuses. Your name was the one being called, despite your claims of having cut ties.I am sure you would have heard Mr. Warner use the same explanation when the case was brought against the TTFF. Does that not sound like “Special Advisor” like behaviour, Brent?
    Now, there is a case of $US 75,000.00 earmarked for the same team to go to a tournament that somehow found its way into an offshore account in your name. That also sounds like very “Special Advisor” like behaviour, Brent.
    Dr. Fuad Khan set a trend when he was in a similar situation where it was alleged he was still operating his private practice. That passed with no great repercussions. Maybe this is why you decided you could still “work” in your private capacity as part of Central FC management and collect this money from Concacaf that was earmarked for the team’s qualification campaign. While its not legally correct, the average man could understand why you did not really give up your day job since you have no guarantees of employment come Sep. 8th.
    Unfortunately,it seems that the money was only given to Central FC after enquiries were made. That the money stayed for a period of time in that account and no contact was made with Central FC even while the team needed money to arrange visas and transport to LA. The average man is starting to think that the money was not intended to leave the account at all, very much like “Special Advisor” behaviour.
    Brent, tell us that’s not the case. We are already watching Wavell on the cricket side seemingly turning his back on his former teammates. We hope that you are not following suit and forgetting when you were on the other side from the men with suits and the money. This may well blow over as seemingly every other scandal has in the past few years (Anyone remembers $34m Lifesport contracts for delivering nothing? Anything came out of that yet?). What won’t blow over though is the feeling to the average man that you put on a bow-tie and a suit and became one of ‘them’.
    Look after the athletes Brent. Don’t become one of the people who deprive our sportsmen and women in order for the people in suits to collect the rewards from their efforts.

    • The TTFF wasn’t dissolved, neither did it declare for bankruptcy. You raised a key point that’s been overlooked however, that of the foreign bank account by a sitting Minister. Likely not illegal or even unethical, but worrying for sure.

  35. FIFA disbursing money left right and center…who is CONCACAF

  36. Vernal, where you been this last year…ppl collecting cash in a car park and not accounting for it…is a boys club inno

  37. Sanko has said what occurred was not hos fault, Central FC had the responsibility to update it’s information to CONCACAF.
    Ok fine.
    But is that the informal way CONCACAF conducted business with Central FC, they wired monies meant for the team directly into the personal bank accounts of the team’s management?

    I find that odd!

  38. I doubt Sancho will be in that foolish – These PNM propaganda not easy

  39. Birds of a feather flock together! UNC taught him well! Sancho just another thief!

  40. Everyone of them have been hence why the reason the PNM is in opposition

  41. All I know is that I eh doing nothing wrong for Mr. Live Wire to write anything about eh, when I first saw him came on the scene when he used to write for the expess news papers back in the day I told my the writer Gregory Trujillo that he is the one that will be exposing the corrupted Jack Warner eh, and when Gregory Trujillo passed away I was so devastated eh because I had no other writers to write for me in the newspaper the next thing you I got an email from Mr. Live Wire when he first started the wired 868, so this is how I started to write and do my thing yes and I know that I am not a good writer but ah just love to read alyuh post eh and while I am doing that I am learning to write properly I think and of course alyuh know that I like the bacchanal. Hahahahah

  42. KMA crap everywhere.

    Sancho has to show all the dates of transactions to and from that account. The alternative is that the accusation will stick if the dates on documentation are long after his appointment. Lasana gave some dates so it is looking very bad.
    This comes like Anil…before 2010 elections he was calling everyone’s name in corruption and then….

    I gone to my cave in the Himalayas.

  43. Hahaha Lasana! Doh tell me that story coming hot off the press

  44. From the minute I saw Tanty chummy chummy with Sanko couple years ago..I knew something was up

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