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Kenwyne ruled out Central’s C/League opener, DJW faces fresh conflict of interest scenarios 

Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team captain Kenwyne Jones will not feature in Central FC’s opening 2016/17 CONCACAF Champions League outing against United States Major League Soccer (MLS) team Vancouver Whitecaps from 8pm tomorrow at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.

Last month, Jones signed for new MLS franchise, Atlanta United FC, and, almost immediately, agreed a five-month loan deal with Central, which is meant to keep the former England Premier League forward active until Atlanta officially begin their football operations in January 2017.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain Kenwyne Jones (centre) holds off Nicaragua midfielder Elvis Figueroa during international friendly action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 13 October 2015. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain Kenwyne Jones (centre) holds off Nicaragua midfielder Elvis Figueroa during international friendly action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 13 October 2015.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

The “Couva Sharks” were unable to get Jones’ International Transfer Certificate in time for their first outing of the season.

However, Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams’ potential role in Jones’ proposed move and Central’s football business this season has already caused a stir in local football circles.

John-Williams is the founder and owner of Central’s bitter rivals, DIRECTV W Connection, who started their own Champions League campaign on Wednesday night against Mexico’s Pumas UNAM from 8pm in Couva.

And, although John-Williams promised to distance himself from the club if elected as TTFA president, Wired868 proved that—months later—he remained involved in business matters at the club.

Whether John-Williams has already used his portfolio as TTFA president to impact more directly on Connection’s fortunes—and Central’s misfortunes—is debatable. But there already exists four examples of potential conflicts of interest for the football administrator.

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

Jones’ loan move to Central might be one.

The 31 year old forward and Soca Warriors captain represented Connection before he signed with England Premier League club, Southampton, in 2004. But the relationship between Jones and John-Williams has been strained since—allegedly due, at least initially, to an unpaid bonus—and the two parties clashed within a month of the TTFA election, as the Warriors threatened to strike over the new football executives’ response to their unpaid match fees.

Last Wednesday, CONCACAF official Patrick Chalmeta wrote Central operations director Kevin Harrison to caution the club against using Jones due to information passed on to the governing body.

“We have been made aware of the following and wanted to clarify the situation with you. Central FC has put player Kenwyne Jones on its 30-man-roster, yet it has been noted by media reports that there is currently no contractual agreement nor that he is still tied to Central FC.

“Atlanta United, which owns his contract, apparently has not made any public announcement about a loan (at least not on its website or Twitter)…

“Can you please verify the specifics of this situation and give us an up to date on how its being handled? Moreover, due to the unique situation we require a Transfer or Loan Certificate to confirm his participation in our tournament.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago forward Kenwyne Jones celebrates a goal for UAE club, Al Jazira, against Al Saad with a trademark somersault during AFC Champions League play off action on 9 February 2016. (Courtesy KJ Media)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago forward Kenwyne Jones celebrates a goal for UAE club, Al Jazira, against Al Saad with a trademark somersault during AFC Champions League play off action on 9 February 2016.
(Courtesy KJ Media)

The email was copied to John-Williams’ business address, which he uses to represent both club and country. Chalmeta further noted that the TTFA must ratify Jones’ transfer for it to be properly concluded.

Arguably, Central, who won the Pro League and Caribbean Cup for the past two successive seasons, would have been better placed to handle international transfers if they were invited to a FIFA TMS (Transfer Matching System) workshop in Costa Rica, just over a month ago.

John-Williams’ daughter and Connection CEO, Renee John-Williams, was the sole Trinidad and Tobago club representative selected to attend alongside TTFA employee and women’s football president, Sharon O’Brien.

The TTFA president, John-Williams, and vice-president Joanne Salazar could not explain why the football body issued a press release that revealed O’ Brien’s attendance but not his daughter’s. And their claim that Renee’s attendance was personally requested by CONCACAF rather than instigated by the local football body proved false.

O’ Brien told Wired868 that she recommended that her boss’ daughter should accompany her to Costa Rica—rather than a Pro League official who could relay the information from the workshop to all 10 member clubs.

Photo: WOLF president and Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) employee Sharon O'Brien (centre).
Photo: WOLF president and Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) employee Sharon O’Brien (centre).

Incidentally, Central will need O’ Brien to ratify Jones’ proposed return to the Pro League where he will suit up against her employer’s rival club.

Renee’s Costa Rica trip was not the last time since her father’s appointment that Connection appeared to received preferential treatment from the relevant governing bodies. And that brings us to the third potential conflict of interest.

Central and Connection each selected a home venue for their Champions League matches. Central, the reigning two-time Pro League and Caribbean champs, opted for the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain while Connection, the Pro league’s fourth placed team, chose the Ato Boldon Venue.

CONCACAF, on the apparent recommendation of the TTFA, decided to let Connection have its way for both rounds of matches and scheduled all four Champions League games will play in Couva.

The venue switch was attributed to a recommendation from the Hasely Crawford Stadium’s facility manager, although, due to John-Williams’ dual role, the decision did raise concerns.

The TTFA president did not respond to Wired868’s queries on the venue shift.

Photo: W Connection owner 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: W Connection owner 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)

It is the first time that Couva hosted Champions League matches in four years. And, on the last occasion, the Hasely Crawford Stadium’s dressing rooms were being repaired, which saw W Connection and Caledonia AIA have their 2012-13 Champions League games scheduled in Couva with a solitary match in Marabella.

Central managing director Brent Sancho and Harrison might not want to risk grumbling too loudly about perceived favouritism though, which leads us to the fourth potential conflict of interest.

Sancho and Harrison were both forwarded to the TTFA board, last September, by former general secretary Sheldon Phillips for further investigation regarding their conduct over: the transfers of Central FC forward Rundell Winchester, the signing of then 16-year-old winger Levi Garcia, and the alleged misappropriation of CONCACAF funds and non-payment of bonuses to Central players.

If found guilty of improper conduct, Sancho, the former Sport Minister, and Harrison can face a variety of disciplinary measures, which range from warnings to a ban from all football stadia and taking part in any football-related activities.

However, the promised probe has floundered under the next TTFA board of directors, chaired by John-Williams, which is yet to appoint a disciplinary committee to resume investigations.

Photo: Former Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (left) has a word with her then Sport Minister Brent Sancho during the opening of the Irwin Park Sporting Complex in Siparia on August 26. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Former Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (left) has a word with her then Sport Minister Brent Sancho during the opening of the Irwin Park Sporting Complex in Siparia on August 26.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

It leaves the Central hierarchy, already cash-strapped since the departure of sponsors SIS and Bankers Insurance, in a precarious position for the upcoming season.

The Sharks do welcome Warriors goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams back to their first team, after a lengthy injury enforced lay off, while his international teammate Keron “Ball Pest” Cummings is also in tomorrow’s match day squad.

Cummings, who last represented North East Stars, has not played competitive football since he was shot in his leg on 27 December 2015 outside of his Diego Martin home. Admission to tomorrow’s contest is TT$60.

Other notable players in Central’s squad to face Vancouver include captain Leston Paul, playmaker Sean De Silva, striker Marcus Joseph, winger Jason Marcano and attacker Kadeem Corbin while former Point Fortin Civic utility player Glenn Sutton and St Ann’s Rangers attacker Johan Peltier have both joined the roster.

Photo: LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena (centre) congratulates Central FC custodian Jan-Michael Williams, after their 1-1 2015 CONCACAF Champions League tie in August 2015. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena (centre) congratulates Central FC custodian Jan-Michael Williams, after their 1-1 2015 CONCACAF Champions League tie in August 2015.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

(Central FC team to face Vancouver Whitecaps)

Goalkeepers: 1.Javon Sample, 30.Akel Clarke, 21.Jan-Michael Williams;

Defenders: 2.Glenn Sutton, 3.Keion Goodridge, 4.Andre Ettienne, 12.Elton John, 15.Kaydion Gabriel, 24.Kevon Villaroel;

Midfielders: 6.Leston Paul (captain), 7.Jason Marcano, 8.Sean De Silva, 10.Keron Cummings, 11.Darren Mitchell, 16.Kadeem Corbin, 17.Johan Peltier, 18.Jomoul Francois, 19.Nathaniel Garcia;

Forwards: 14.Nicholas Dillon, 26.Mickaeel Jem Gordon, 99.Marcus Joseph.

Photo: Central FC attacker Kadeem Corbin (right) takes on San Juan Jabloteh players Jevon Morris (centre) and Keyon Edwards during Pro League action on 17 May 2016 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. Corbin scored from the penalty spot but Jabloteh held on for a 3-2 win. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC attacker Kadeem Corbin (right) takes on San Juan Jabloteh players Jevon Morris (centre) and Keyon Edwards during Pro League action on 17 May 2016 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Corbin scored from the penalty spot but Jabloteh held on for a 3-2 win.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

CONCACAF Champions League schedule:

(Tuesday, 2 August, 2016)

Central FC (TRI) v Vancouver Whitecaps FC (CAN), 8pm, Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, Trinidad and Tobago;

(Wednesday, 3 August, 2016)

W Connection (TRI) v Pumas UNAM (MEX), 8pm, Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, Trinidad and Tobago;

Photo: W Connection winger and former Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 player Aikim Andrews (centre) tries to find way past a gang of Santos Laguna players during 2015/16 CONCACAF Champions League action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: W Connection winger and former Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 player Aikim Andrews (centre) tries to find way past a gang of Santos Laguna players during 2015/16 CONCACAF Champions League action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

(Tuesday, 16 August, 2016)

Central FC (TRI) v Sporting Kansas City (USA), 8pm, Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, Trinidad and Tobago;

(Thursday, 25 August, 2016)

W Connection (TRI) v  Honduras Progreso (HON), 8pm, Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, Trinidad and Tobago;

Photo: Central FC attacker Marcus Joseph (left) takes on a Comunicaciones player during CONCACAF Champions League action. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC attacker Marcus Joseph (left) takes on a Comunicaciones player during CONCACAF Champions League action.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

(Wednesday, 28 September, 2016)

Vancouver Whitecaps FC (CAN) v Central FC (TRI), 10pm, BC Place, Vancouver, BC, Canada;

(Thursday, 29 September, 2016)

Honduras Progreso (HON) v W Connection (TRI), 10pm, Estadio Francisco Morazan, San Pedro Sula, Honduras;

Photo: Deportivo Saprissa winger Daniel Colindres (right) tries to find a way past W Connection captain and defender Alvin Jones in 2015/16 CONCACAF Champions League action. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Deportivo Saprissa winger Daniel Colindres (right) tries to find a way past W Connection captain and defender Alvin Jones in 2015/16 CONCACAF Champions League action.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

(Wednesday, 19 October, 2016)

Sporting Kansas City (USA) v Central FC (TRI), 8pm, Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City, KS, USA;

(Thursday, 20 October, 2016)

Pumas UNAM (MEX) v W Connection (TRI), 10pm, Estadio Olimpico Universitario, Mexico City, Mexico.

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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154 comments

  1. So u write a whole story on what is to happen right?? U saying d national captain sits in d stands not implying that d ttfa president causing that?? I sure the neutral literate ppl done make u out tho all this make up answer any fooling no one!! The whole essence of our initial story is lost and u have been found with ur draws down!! As the saying goes u have been tried tested and found wanting!!

    • Yes. You and your army of literates have found me out Gordon. Guilty as charged. Lol

    • I guess we will leave it up to d public reading the thread to decide!!! Change of story after calling d stadium management which u should have done in d first place, Kevin Harrison clarification that kenwyne clearance have not even reached d ttfa hands yet d TRUTH shall always set u free!! And u are a child of the revolution!!

    • The position of Kenwyne Jones’ ITC has no impact on my story whatsoever unless the TTFA doesn’t have to ratify it. And this is what Harrison said about the choice of the Hasely Crawford Stadium:
      “Central FC selected Hasely Crawford because we felt that there would be a better attendance and as all visiting teams and officials were based in town, logistically and financially HC would be better. The stadium was inspected and approved. Concacaf (quite rightly) wanted both games at the same venue for logistical reasons. One would think that Central, as the first team to play and as the Caribbean and Pro League champions for the last two years would receive preference. Concacaf decided,on advice received, that Ato would be selected. Judging by the attendances at both games, that decision has proved to be flawed.”
      At this point in time, I’m not surprised that you somehow believe that vindicates you. I bow to your logic Sir.

    • Flip flop d stadium management who YOU called and QUOTED in ur revised story said they recommended to the TTFA to play the game at ATO to allow Hasley to be rested. Kevin Harrison clarified the Kenwyne transfer story he not playing at the moment have NOTHING to do with the TTFA president as implied by ur article if i could call it that more a half pick duck!!

    • That’s my last contribution on this story bc its plain to what was ur intension of ur STORY and what was revealed in the end!! Be blessed my brother!!

    • God protect you brother. Someone has to look after you for sure

  2. I didn’t say stadium manager recommended to CONCACAF. He recommended to TTFA. And I didn’t say the TTFA blocked Kenwyne’s transfer either.
    And I won’t repeat what I did say because it is straightforward for literate people. And nothing said anyway contradicts what I said.
    When the time comes to ratify transfer, it will have to pass through TTFA.
    No more to say really. I wish I could help you Gordon Pierre. I really do. But haven’t got the energy or the magic wand for that. 😉

  3. Yuh eh see Kevin Harrison like the bacchanal to eh, it is only now he is clearing the air eh, and since days now we on the thread discussing eh. He really good yes hahahaha

  4. Thank you Kevin Harrison and d stadium final call i guess Lasana Liburd cleared that up earlier with his call to d stadium management! Time for him to stop d nonsense and study d good of sports!! When DJW do nonsense licks for he, if i do nonsense licks for me and all but stop casting aspersions on ppl it’s not nice!! Good thing Kevin big enough to clear d air and Ian R Briggs Hassan C Araujo Earl Mango Pierre i hope u all satisfied it’s time to be responsible and deal with the TRUTH not lies half truths and innuendos the youths are depending on us!!

    • It was not the stadium that made that decision Gordon Pierre. We had it booked for both dates. I don’t believe Concacaf would approach a stadium manager. They would want opinions from football people.

    • Kevin i understand but Lasana ask d stadium management who admitted that they recommended to CONCACAF that d games be played at d Ato so Hasley could be rested remember besides the two match days team preparation would have also taken place on the field!! Member of management told me that much in a personal conversation that really wasn’t about football just facilities and sports in TT i hear what you are saying tho

    • No. I did not say that Gordon. And I haven’t the time or energy to be always repeating myself.

    • This is what I wrote: “CONCACAF, on the apparent recommendation of the TTFA, decided to let Connection have its way for both rounds of matches and scheduled all four Champions League games will play in Couva.”

  5. Yeah everyone was supporting the W- Sports 7’s football competition that started on Sunday on the Mandela park grounds and continuing for the rest of the month everyday and if yuh see people, and I must applaud meh family Gordon Pierre on his commentating skills eh, and as I have been saying, nobody ain’t leaving town/ West/ East/ North to come down Ato Boldin to support any football eh, I don’t know when alyuh will finally get the message nah, well good luck on the next game eh.. Them really good yes.