Selby’s ship comes in; ex-TTFA Board member acquires W/Cup TV rights

The abysmal performances of the Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team under the David John-Williams-led football body saw the Soca Warriors demoted from the Concacaf Nations League top tier and miss out on the Hex for the 2022 World Cup qualifying series.

However, former Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) board member Selby Browne is set to cash in on both competitions, after being awarded the media rights for the Nations League and Fifa World Cup qualifiers for 2020-22.

Photo: France goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris (centre) lifts the FIFA World Cup trophy after his team’s 4-2 final win over Croatia in Mscow on 15 July 2018.
(Copyright Shaun Botterill/Getty/FIFA)

Global sports agency, IMG, confirmed last month that the rights for both companies were formally awarded to CSTN, which is run by Browne. The deal means CSTN is authorised to re-sell both tournaments—comprising at least 180 games—to 27 Caribbean nations, including Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados, Haiti, Guyana and the Bahamas.

Browne inked the deal with IMG vice-president James Tree and Caribbean Football Union (CFU) general secretary Camara David. David was TTFA general secretary under John-Williams at the same time that Browne served on the football body’s emergency committee, which was accused of illegally—or at least immorally—circumventing the board.

It is uncertain what deal was struck for Trinidad and Tobago’s matches in either competition, which would have occurred during the John-Williams-led administration.

Current TTFA president William Wallace could not be reached for comment.

Browne, who is also interim president of the Veteran Footballers Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago (VFFOTT), won and then lost the World Cup rights for the 2002 World Cup, which was then picked up by controversial ex-FIFA vice-president Jack Warner.

Photo: VFFOTT interim president Selby Browne during the launch of the TTFA League of Champions in November 2019.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/TTFA Media)

Browne insisted he was swindled, although some sources claimed that he forfeited the rights after failing to make scheduled payments.

It is uncertain how active CSTN has been since. His company does not have a website.

Browne was one of John-Williams’ most vociferous critics. In July 2017, he published 42 financial questions to the then TTFA president. And, in May 2018, he again put pen to paper in a stinging critique of John-Williams, who he accused of: ‘poor administration, poor management, no accountability or transparency, generating enormous debt, and outright incompetent lawlessness’.

John-Williams never officially responded to Browne. By January 2019, Browne became a TTFA board member and went on to be one of the president’s most outspoken supporters.

And, when John-Williams stood for re-election on 24 November 2019, Browne was at his side as first vice-president. Both men lost at the polls, as they were replaced by Wallace’s slate.

But CSTN did emerge with a significant victory.

Photo: (From left) IMG VP James Tree, CSTN managing director Selby Browne and CFU general secretary Camara David confirm CSTN’s media rights triumph.
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