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TTFA monitoring alleged Sancho/Harrison payment request; Visé responds

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) general secretary Sheldon Phillips confirmed that the local football body is monitoring a request, sent by then Central FC operations director Kevin Harrison’s email address, which asked for a “personal payment” for Harrison and then club chairman Brent Sancho related to a club transfer.

Photo: Sport Minister Brent Sancho addresses the audience during the opening of the Irwin Park Sporting Complex in Siparia.  (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Sport Minister Brent Sancho addresses the audience during the opening of the Irwin Park Sporting Complex in Siparia.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

At the time, Belgium lower division club, CS Visé, was negotiating the transfer of Central attacker Rundell Winchester as well as three other current Central players, Willis Plaza, Elton John and Kevon Villaroel, who were believed to have been free agents at the time.

The email, which was sent on 27 August 2014 and published exclusively by Wired868, asked Visé representative Steve Davies to “slip in (a) personal payment” to Sancho and Harrison that was to be sent through Western Union rather than to Central’s bank account and split evenly between the two men.

At present, Sancho is the Minister of Sport and UNC’s candidate for Toco/Sangre Grande while Harrison is employed as Advisor to the Minister of Sport.

Phillips said the TTFA, which Sancho often accused of a lack of transparency, is “very, very concerned” and suggested that a formal investigation was a distinct possibility.

“We are certainly paying attentions to the allegations in the (Wired868) story,” Phillips told Wired868. “We are looking at the information and we are very, very concerned about the allegation.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker Rundell Winchester (left) tussles with New Zealand captain and ex-West Ham defender Winston Reid during a senior international friendly at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in December 2013. Winchester's transfer to CS Vise is likely to be investigated by the TTFA. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker Rundell Winchester (left) tussles with New Zealand captain and ex-West Ham defender Winston Reid during a senior international friendly at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in December 2013.
Winchester’s transfer to CS Vise is likely to be investigated by the TTFA.
(Courtesy Wired868)

“The (FIFA) player transfer regulations will come into play here. And, if there is a situation with an improper transfer, as it falls under FIFA, it also falls under the jurisdiction of the relevant member association, which is the TTFA.”

Davies, a British agent who represented Sancho during his professional career in Britain, was a Visé official at the time and confirmed the email from Harrison. However, Davies said he considered the request to be illegal and quickly blanked it.

The football agent said Visé had agreed to fly Sancho and Harrison to Belgium to discuss a possible collaboration between the two clubs. But he claimed the issue of a personal payment was never raised during formal discussions with Sancho and he promptly rebuffed the email from Harrison’s account.

“Kevin, I don’t know what (you’re) on about regarding any personal payments,” stated Davies’ email, which was sent within hours of the request, “as the deal was that the club will make three payments to your club…”

Davies said Harrison never responded to his email and the matter appeared closed.

Photo: Central FC goal scorer Jean-Luc Rochford (front) and his teammates celebrate with the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship trophy. Looking on is then Central FC operations director Kevin Harrison (top left). (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.
Looking on is then Central FC operations director Kevin Harrison (top left).
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

However, financial problems at Visé brought its collaboration with Central to a swift end and Winchester and Plaza returned to Trinidad within three months, followed by John, Villaroel and English coach Terry Fenwick.

Phillips said, even though it appears that the “personal payment” was never made, the TTFA may still be able to take action against Sancho and Harrison for intent.

“You still have a question of intent,” Phillips told Wired868, “so just because the transaction wasn’t completed doesn’t mean the intention wasn’t there.

“At this point in time, we are looking around and observing to see what else transpires. But we are extremely concerned about what we have heard so far.”

Sancho and Harrison have both ignored requests for comment on the email to Davies.

Photo: CS Vise official and football agent Steve Davies said he rebuffed the request for a personal payment for then Central FC officials Brent Sancho and Kevin Harrison.
Photo: CS Vise official and football agent Steve Davies said he rebuffed the request for a personal payment for then Central FC officials Brent Sancho and Kevin Harrison.

Editor’s Note: Wired868 apologises for erroneously publishing the personal email address of then CS Visé representative, Steve Davies. The error has been corrected.

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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71 comments

  1. Sancho or Sanco as his PM calls him is getting a real taste of the game of politics. Totally different to football where you can score an “own” goal and still play.

  2. That is the man he selected as his advisor in the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.

  3. All I see here is 1 man (Harrison ) using another man name (Brent) to make a deal that is illegal. . Where is the evidence that Brent actually agreed to this. . It like me saying .. ‘The author of this article told me to comment on this article ‘. There I wrote it .. But did the author really tell me to say that or say it? Am not for any party nor am I into politics.. am for less bacahnal, logic and good sense prevailing. .

  4. People of Sangre Grande do not vote for Brent Sanko and the UNC, vote for the former ACP Glenda Jennings-Smith and the PNM.

  5. There can be sanctions that might affect them if they tried to return to football though. And that could feasibly happen quite soon.

  6. I have studied Lasana’s postulation about trees falling in forests.It depends on whom the tree fell.That unfortunate will certainly make some noise.Or open a branch.

  7. Audited annually? ha! in bananistan? We have state companies without years of audited financials. TTSE listed companies are the most compliant and even there there have been breaches

  8. The other company remitting the funds should also recognize that the request is irregular and report it. Mr Harrison is an official of Central FC and not an agent of… so this is a breach

  9. Question as I am not familiar with the rules and regulations but is it a requirement for the clubs to be audited annually?

  10. Clearly the governance, procedures, controls are not audited. Any proper company will have procedures that will specify that you can’t commingle company funds. To issue a payment request as part of or as a result of a company transaction should be grounds for dismissal.

  11. Nicholas Jackman I agree it’s running a business like a parlour that has us in this trouble. Because we don’t seem to be concerned about procedure and policy and soon the exception becomes the norm. Aren’t these books required to be audited as well? Our entire system of compliance is based on having persons with some integrity who would do what id right. What happens when you don’t.

  12. Banks don’t need to do it Nerisha. Nor do you need an ethics committee for it. The company policy should forbid it.
    Proper accounting controls, routine petty cash and cash reconciliation procedures are used by so many companies both private and public. The issue is that there are many other firms that run like a parlour or a market stall and the charlatans love it just so.

  13. With these stories, it seems it’s a case of who to guard the guards yes. And there seems to be a playbook with how to appear honest and full of integrity while carrying on back door deals. Where oh where is the board of inland revenue and the banking sector. In the other related story with cheque passing thru personal bank account we have a name for it-co-mingling of funds. And the banks would have posters up telling you it illegal. But when a minister tells you it legal what do you know? I think it’s time sporting bodies created an ethics committee, the standard of which would be higher than the current one that says once it’s legal it’s okay. Let us set the standard at once its moral and ethical first because too many questionable issues arise when the standard is just legal obligation.

  14. the only parties that TTFA can “prosecute” are players, clubs, and or club officials … however, the facts of the investigation when exposed, could damage the political reputations of some

  15. Hahahahahaha hence the reason I am a bacchanalist yes doh leh meh know your secrets nah because I will expose them, and you know how our people like to talk ent Them really good yes.

  16. He saw the last 2 stories. He woulda hang up on you otherwise

  17. Mango, like you holding everybody’s secrets yes!

  18. No Trin am talking about the Movietowne carpark

  19. I see Sheldon Phillips found time to speak with you Lasana…for once his name not called

  20. Oh…i must be mistaking the money in the envelopes from JW with this issue…

  21. Trin I dont know that the brown paper bag issue was related to anyone in ILP eh…but who can trust any of them really?

  22. Good question Savitri …those answers are still outstanding…yet people want us to believe ILP should be considered a legitimate party because they registered with the EBC … sure they are legal on paper….but who can trust a party led by that man, except for a small contingent of people in Chaguanas West…? I still have no idea how people can be so blind…

  23. Where’s the result of the “money in a brown bag in carpark” investigation?

  24. What I don’t understand is that election is on Monday the 7th eh and the video eh buss out as yet it seems like Gordon Pierre got some hush monies from the corrupted sports minister or what eh Them really good yes.

  25. I have a sneaking suspicion that they thought “if jack could do it who is me?”

  26. I don’t know that that comment was really worth a response nah

  27. Kendall Tull, a parable about Satan casting out a devil comes to mind. Lol… But fair play to the TTFA. If the transfer does fall under its jurisdiction, they are perfectly entitled to act. In fact, they would be negligent not to.

  28. The corrupted sports minister forget that is real police that he is dealing with or what eh. The Mayor Tim Kee, Abu Bakka, Fitzgerald Hinds PNM, and myself eh, Them really good yes.

  29. Hahaha… Enjoy your wait Kashka. Tell me the results of the Piarco Airport scandal too while you are it.
    Unfortunately, this is Trinidad and Tobago. If we all had to wait for the results of investigations there would be nothing to discuss. Ever.
    It is imperfect. But this is the land we live in.
    In the interim, I have given you emails, the response from the club who received the request, the response from the governing body… And I gave the two persons featured in the emails a chance to speak up for themselves. So far, they have chosen not to. And I can only hope that they do not hope to find a greener reporter who has no knowledge of football transfers that they can bamboozle.

  30. Ah told alyuh that the bussing thing now start eh, the corrupted sports minister shudda listen to me and stick with organising the Players Association to defend our players rights in our sweet country. Them really good yes

  31. But the TTFA doesn’t investigate fraud, the police does …….. at least that’s how it’s supposed to work!

  32. Tim Kee’s field day just got upgraded to a parade… (Just tell him not to use public funds to have it before he ends up with his own story…. Again!)

  33. You know what they say about two bo rat …..

  34. Laughable that the TTFA has Sancho in this position. Tim Kee must be in his glee.

  35. No point in making accusations when you don’t have all of the facts. Waiting for the results of the investigation.

  36. Start with this…it’s after nomination day and no one can be fired (or asked to resign) in the name of ‘transparency’.

  37. Bankoh play goalkeeper for Soca Warriors right?
    Because he only keeping people money!

  38. Give him a cape! Sanko banko strikes again!!

  39. Or maybe like Rasta City investigating Muslim City for gang-related violence. 😉

  40. This is like ah bandit being accused of robbery, so he muddah investigating!

  41. If the alleged request is illegal shouldn’t the police be conducting an investigation and not the TTFA?

  42. Lol well yes best place in the world

  43. Time I see Banko join the KPB administration I know he was ah quenk!

  44. The TTFA is going to investigate, what about the Fraud Squ…….. ohhh forget it!

  45. I don’t even know where to start with this…

  46. TTFA?…. is TTFA yuh say inno!…. dem fellaz doh even do up their own accounts on time!!!