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TTFA president embroiled in Connection dispute; blamed for endangering Quintero’s career

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams has allegedly broken his campaign promise to stakeholders of the local game and opened up his office to disrepute, after a string of emails suggest that he continues to conduct business at local Pro League club, DIRECTV W Connection, despite a clear conflict of interest.

Photo: Former W Connection president David John Williams (second from left), coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier (centre) and defender Joel Russell (far left) say a prayer of thanks after securing the 2013/14 Pro League trophy at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Former W Connection president David John Williams (second from left), coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier (centre) and defender Joel Russell (far left) say a prayer of thanks after securing the 2013/14 Pro League trophy at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

And, arguably worse, John-Williams is accused of neglecting his legal responsibility as an employer to former Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 and Under-20 Team player Dwight Quintero, whose right leg is in a cast at present.

Quintero was injured at a W Connection training session on 2 February 2016 and was taken to the hospital on the same evening by a relative.

Three days later, Dr Sergiy Adonin, a specialist orthopaedic surgeon from the Fracture & Orthopaedic Clinic in St Clair, advised that the talented 22 year old striker needed an urgent operation due to “severe ligamentous injury to the right ankle.”

The cost of the operation and medical care was given as TT$48,700.

Remarkably, it took Connection 10 days, according to Quintero’s attorney, Fulton Wilson, aunt, Nathalie Fournillier-Reyes and an email trail made available to Wired868, to even acknowledge the player’s well-being.

Photo: W Connection substitute Dwight Quintero (right) takes on Central FC defender Jamal Jack during the 2015 First Citizens Cup final. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: W Connection substitute Dwight Quintero (right) takes on Central FC defender Jamal Jack during the 2015 First Citizens Cup final.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

At Connection’s request, Quintero’s diagnosis was confirmed by Dr Terence Babwah, who is a TTFA employee and served as a FIFA medical officer at the Brazil 2014 World Cup.

Yet, five weeks later, W Connection are still refusing to pay—a position that was communicated via an email sent by the account of none other than John Williams himself.

Wilson said he operated in good faith throughout with the Pro League club and is baffled by Connection’s discourtesy and negligence.

“They have not fulfilled their contract with their player and it is harder to take because we would think they would want the player to recover as fast as possible,” Wilson told Wired868. “We sent an estimate (for the operation) to W Connection and David John-Williams indicated that he didn’t like how it was done. And he gave the impression that he would have used his resources to see that it would be done in a public health institution.

“But since then we have heard no word from him at all and the player is languishing as a result. The player cannot afford to pay a private institution (for the operation) with the small salary he gets.”

Photo: The Fracture & Orthopaedic Clinic itemises costs for treating W Connection forward Dwight Quintero. (Courtesy Nathalie Fournillier-Reyes)
Photo: The Fracture & Orthopaedic Clinic itemises costs for treating W Connection forward Dwight Quintero.
(Courtesy Nathalie Fournillier-Reyes)

Wilson claimed that Connection’s behaviour is endangering his client’s health and ability to earn a livelihood from the sport.

“If you sustain an injury and it isn’t treated in time, you may or may not be as you ought to be after that,” said Wilson. “So that is a major concern. But I am just baffled by the lack of communication from the club.”

John-Williams’ role in the affair has not been lost on Quintero’s representative either.

The former W Connection owner vowed to step away from the club, once elected TTFA president, when he campaigned for the top administrative post in the local game last October.

And, after his election on 29 November 2015, John-Williams appeared to keep his word, as he announced that his daughter, Renee John-Williams, would inherit his portfolio.

Photo: Former W Connection chairman David John Williams (left) hugs goalkeeper Julani Archibald after the 2015 Pro Bowl Cup final. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Former W Connection chairman David John Williams (left) hugs goalkeeper Julani Archibald after the 2015 Pro Bowl Cup final.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

However, although much of the TTFA president’s term so far has been marred by clashes with the “Soca Warriors”, technical director Kendall Walkes, former Women’s National Team coach Randy Waldrum and even Caribbean Football Union (CFU) president Gordon Derrick, John-Williams apparently still found time for W Connection business.

And John Williams did not endear himself to Quintero’s representatives either, after, in an email on 8 March 2016, he refused to pay for Quintero’s urgent operation due to “grey areas” that he wanted clarified.

Ironically, 15 days later, John-Williams is apparently yet to clarify the grey areas he referred to and Quintero’s aunt, Fournillier-Reyes, is concerned that the TTFA president is simply trying to avoid his responsibility.

“I think it is gross negligence on the club’s behalf,” Fournillier-Reyes told Wired868. “We have gotten no respect at all and it is six weeks and counting. Dwight cannot walk on his right foot and he has to keep it elevated and there is some swelling still.

“I am really disturbed that an established organisation can treat someone in their employ like that. And to think that that man is the president of Trinidad and Tobago’s football…”

Photo: TTFA president David John-Williams (right) shakes hands with SPORTT Company chairman Michael Phillips (left) while Sport Minister Darryl Smith looks on. (Courtesy TTFA Media)
Photo: TTFA president David John-Williams (right) shakes hands with SPORTT Company chairman Michael Phillips (left) while Sport Minister Darryl Smith looks on.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

Wired868 asked John-Williams why Connection was not footing Quintero’s medical bills. And why he, as TTFA president, was representing the club on the matter.

He refused to answer both questions.

“I will speak on that in the fullness of time,” said John-Williams. “I will speak on that and the (TTFA technical director) Kendall Walkes matter in the fullness of time.”

Clause eight of Quintero’s contract with W Connection states: “Any incapacity or sickness shall be reported by the Player to the Club immediately and the Club shall keep a record of any incapacity.

“The Player shall submit promptly to such medical and dental examinations as the Club may reasonably require and shall undergo, at no expense to himself such treatment as may be prescribed by the medical or dental advisers of the Club in order to restore the Player to fitness.

Photo: W Connection striker Dwight Quintero tries to relax at his home in Blanchisseuse. (Courtesy Dwight Quintero)
Photo: W Connection striker Dwight Quintero tries to relax at his home in Blanchisseuse.
(Courtesy Dwight Quintero)

“The Club shall arrange promptly such prescribed treatment and shall ensure that such treatment is undertaken and completed without expense to the player notwithstanding that this Agreement expires after such treatment has been prescribed.”

The standoff between both parties over clause eight, potentially exposes the office of the TTFA president to the nightmare scenario that worried stakeholders when Williams announced his intention to succeed Raymond Tim Kee at the helm of the local game.

In an interview with Wired868, which was published on 26 November 2015, John-Williams vowed to win over skeptics by his actions.

“Nothing I say to the public, whether I resign as W Connection president and CEO or promise them faithfully that there will be no conflict of interest,” said John Williams, “Trinidad and Tobago will not believe me. (But) if I am elected and I operate faithfully, they will believe me. That is the only way.

“History will absolve me.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams (centre) presents Naparima College attacker Jarred Dass with his 2015 National Intercol medal. Dass is a Connection youth team player. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams (centre) presents Naparima College attacker Jarred Dass with his 2015 National Intercol medal.
Dass is a Connection youth team player.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Less than three months after that statement, John Williams’ sincerity is already open to debate as Quintero—one of the few Pro League players with legal representation—tries to have his contract with Connection honoured.

According to the terms of the player’s contract, he must first take his grievance to the Connection board.

If dissatisfied with the board’s verdict, Quintero can then appeal to the Pro League. Connection are shareholders of that football body while John Williams appointed Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene as head of the TTFA’s Technical Committee.

Should Quintero not feel that he received justice from the Pro League, he must then appeal to the TTFA. And John Williams is responsible for appointing the Appeals Committee that will hear the case against himself.

If Quintero remains aggrieved, he may then appeal to the FIFA Player Status Committee.

Less than a week before Quintero sustained his ankle injury, John Williams hosted new FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, in a private meeting in Trinidad and subsequently offered a public endorsement of the Swiss/Italian lawyer for his new post.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams and new FIFA president Gianni Infantino at the TTFA headquarters on 27 January 2016. (Courtesy TTFA Media)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams and new FIFA president Gianni Infantino at the TTFA headquarters on 27 January 2016.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

It is only when Quintero has exhausted those legal options—which come with legal fees at every hurdle—can he turn to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and/or the local courts, in a worst case scenario.

At present, Quintero’s relatives, who include his father, Dereck Quintero, mother, Lesley Ann Quintero, and aunts, Tamara Fournillier and Fournillier-Reyes, have already spent in excess of TT$4,000 on medical fees and are planning fund raisers to get the TT$47,000 needed for his operation. Aunt Tamara is a nurse at the Port of Spain General Hospital.

For Quintero, the past 12 months have been the toughest of his career to date.

The striker was one of seven players—along with Jibiri McDavid, Alvin Jones, Maurice Ford, Dario Holmes, Triston Hodge and Nathaniel Garcia—who were selected to represent Trinidad and Tobago for the Rio 2016 Olympic qualifying series, only to be omitted due to visa issues exacerbated by cock ups from team manager David Muhammad.

The weakened “Soca Warriors” Under-23 Team were subsequently eliminated after just one game, following a 5-3 loss to St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Photo: Former Central FC forward Dwight Quintero (centre) goes down under a challenge from Police captain Todd Ryan (far left) while Anton Hutchinson (far right) and Kenaz Williams look on during a 2013/14 Pro League contest. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Former Central FC forward Dwight Quintero (centre) goes down under a challenge from Police captain Todd Ryan (far left) while Anton Hutchinson (far right) and Kenaz Williams look on during a 2013/14 Pro League contest.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Quintero, who was then a Central FC employee, then missed his club’s maiden Caribbean Club Championship title, after suffering an x-rated tackle in a Pro Bowl semifinal fixture with Police FC, which left him with three stitches over his shinbone.

Once recovered, Quintero opted to skip the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games and headed instead to Turkey for trials with local agent Dion Sosa, in what turned out to be an exciting but chaotic and ultimately unsuccessful tour.

He returned to a contractual dispute with Central, which, handled by Wilson, led to his move to their bitter Couva rivals, W Connection, on a free transfer.

Connection beat Central to the first two cups of the 2015/16 season—the First Citizens and Toyota Classic Cups—and Quintero played a role in both triumphs.

But disaster struck at a training session on February 2, as Quintero dribbled past a Panamanian trialist at the club.

Photo: Referee Rodphin Harris (background) waves play on as W Connection striker Dwight Quintero (centre) tries to keep possession from North East Stars players Neveal Hackshaw (left) and Adrian Noel during 2015 Toyota Classic quarterfinal action. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Referee Rodphin Harris (background) waves play on as W Connection striker Dwight Quintero (centre) tries to keep possession from North East Stars players Neveal Hackshaw (left) and Adrian Noel during 2015 Toyota Classic quarterfinal action.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

“We were doing a 1 v 1 drill and I got past the defender,” Quintero told Wired868, “and, when I was going to shoot, I got tackled from behind and I could feel my ankle twist.

“When that happened, I got instant swelling and I stopped training.”

Connection were in camp at the time, so Quintero retired to his hotel room with an ice pack.

“We had a double session that day and, for the evening session, I still couldn’t train,” said Quintero. “Coach (Stuart Charles-Fevrier) said if it it didn’t get better, he would send me to get an X-ray the next day. I told coach that I spoke to my aunt and she works in the hospital and that I iced my foot for the whole day and I wasn’t getting any relief.

“So I told him my cousin was coming to take me to the hospital. And he said no problem and when I got it done to contact him.”

So, Connection left Quintero’s healthcare in the hands of the player’s relatives.

Photo: W Connection coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier (second from right) and assistant coach Earl Jean (far right) speak to their players during a break between the action against Atlantico FC in 2016 Caribbean Club Championship action. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: W Connection coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier (second from right) and assistant coach Earl Jean (far right) speak to their players during a break between the action against Atlantico FC in 2016 Caribbean Club Championship action.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Editor’s Note: See Wired868 on Friday March 25 for Part Two of Dwight Quintero vs David John-Williams/W Connection, as we examine emails exchanged between all parties including the TTFA president.

AboutLasana 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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40 comments

  1. Toco.. a country bookie like you eh know that?

  2. Earl Jean, you said there are two sides to every story. Maybe you missed my question about that.
    Can you tell me why W Connection did not want to pay for an operation for a W Connection player injured in a W Connection training session?
    I’m always happy to hear all sides but don’t always get answers when I call the relevant parties. Thanks.

  3. Adrian the power hasnt distroyed anyone…let them investigate in what really happened. …there is no denying dwight treatment but there is protocol in everything a club does… come on….every player is entitled to the best care from their clubs…but oh god deal with people the right way and have the decency for agents and lawyers to be truthful nah man…we want dwight to be back on the field he is our player…I just think there is something behind the scene with some individuals and thats why our players dont get the right guidance and people put so much nonse in their heads…is it any reason that when some of them can’t secure long term contacts and some are not regular at sessions…and they feel they are better than they really are . when they still have so much work to do ..but some people want to make money off them before they are ready….there is a Part two…but all will be revealed soon…I am just disheartened when people genuinely wants to help players and there is always some tug of war …Instead of trying to get the best for players and the clubs alike.!!….its a serious problem. ..people just look to bring negativity in everything you do but they dont put one dime to help develop player or organizations. ..just the Caribbean for you…so sad and sickening at times

    • Ok.
      What about DJW still involved in club business when he said he would be.
      Another side to that too?

    • From what I have seen and knows…the bro and daughter runs the club but he said he is hands off but iam sure there may have been problems with certain issues and they would have ask for guidance am sure because its been a few months and iam sure like in other places he would have to relinquish all business but then some would pop up that you would have to advice whats the best course….because you still dont want when it comes to the health of players. ..you can’t take players getting on the wrong end of it…but it would be good to hear his side still…if I built something and I had to give my daughter some good advice to run the right way iam sure thats something common..if not let me know…but iam sure we will continue our responsibility in a good way…its a challenge each day but the work will continue ..

    • I’m sure all will be revealed in the fullness of time

    • Not by DJW, Roneil. He playing mime these days yes…

    • Well, Earl. What did Dwight do wrong that caused the club to not want to have him get an urgent operation after being injured in a W Connection training session?

    • And you cannot halfway leave a position. You either leave it or you don’t. If he has a say in club affairs then he has a conflict of interest.
      There are no level of degrees to that.

  4. Sounding like Central FC is about to get some pro league club company in being displeased with wired868’s reporting. Lol…

  5. Yuh see why I also said that it was a conflict in interest when I said putting David John-williams as the President Of the TTFFA . When we honored David, Stuart Charles Fevrier, and his Manager it was for what he and his staff accomplished and is still accomplishing with his only real professional team in our sweet country. The President of the TTFA should be someone who isn’t affiliated to any Professional , Super League, or any other team in any league, He should be neutral and even when he said that his daughter was running the show now, he is still the owner and of course will be working behind the scenes and I guess that Dion Sosa was right about him all the time with respect to destroying some players life.Them really good yes.

  6. Players well being are the utmost importance but there are always to sides to a story so investigate and then write… ..

  7. Well, I’m interested to see if and when the football community will be roused to set standards for its leaders. All I can do is my job.

  8. ..Listen. Too many football people are not interested in their own affairs and the overall development of the game. They only studying to win a title. I returned to Trini from the USA in 1980. I wrote a series of five articles in the Guardian re: the need for and role of a players’ association. No-one rallied. In the 1990s I joined the TT Coaches Association, which even today has an official place in the TTFA constitution. Nothing came of that. People too busy chasing wins to think about their own interests and the development of the game..

  9. Far from it, i think its time for a proper governing body that would represent players and player’s interest across the board . But players also need to be able to stand up to these club owners and business men and demand their worth

  10. that doesn’t mean the MR PRESIDENT is right!!!!

  11. Lasana players health and well being has never been their priority, how to capitalize on them and exploit them now that is where their focus is .

  12. there is not any single insurance company in Trinidad and Tobago willing to insure football players…not even children

  13. ..Is plenty thing involved here. There is the DJW personal club/association conflict of interest issue. There is the WCFC liability and player insurance issue. AND there is the administrative issue of the TTPL apparently not requiring insurance for its players. We need a major sit down, involving all the “stake-holders” in the game, to discuss the situation of our football and the way forward..

  14. So seriously any of you actually thought he would have kept away? He’s too passionate about that club to do that. I thank God it has come to light tho let people see what a liar that he just as Sancho is. It’s like the Minister of Sports and Central FC fiasco scenario again. From the minute he announced his intention to compete for the presidency I knew and said it previously in a post he wasn’t fit to lead that organization because there would be a conflict of interest. It’s easy to say in the bid for election that one would not do so and so. Hey John-Williams as if you learnt nothing from Sancho and Central case when he was a minister “what’s in the dark always comes to light”. I eagerly await this continued development. He should honor the young man’s contract and see about his health and step down from TTFA because clearly he doesn’t wanna part ways with Connection and isn’t a man to his word. I honestly don’t think he’ll willingly pay the money tho. For him and his club I’m sure they think it’s too much and when the contract was drafted they never thought they would have to dish out that amount of money on the player. Just goes to show how these men don’t have the players best interest at heart. I wish the young man well and really hope Connection do the right thing.

    *Oh how I love Mr. Live wire for exposing his culprits*.

  15. Clubs don’t provide medical insurance?

  16. this is not a fete in here, this is…………..