Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) president Raymond Tim Kee was toasted by the 2006 World Cup players yesterday afternoon as the two parties publicly signalled the end to a seven-year legal battle over bonus money.
But Tim Kee, who was appointed unopposed last November after the withdrawal of his opponent Colin Murray, appears less popular with the local football body. This morning, TTFF vice-president and former interim president Lennox Watson threatened legal action against Tim Kee unless he retracts a claim regarding CONCACAF funds used to pay the “Soca Warriors.”
TTFF general secretary Sheldon Phillips said the Warriors were paid from “unclaimed commercial and broadcast revenues” that was due to the local football body from the 2014 World Cup qualifying cycle. And Tim Kee insisted, at yesterday’s press conference, that Watson knew about the existence of the money but did not try to access it although the TTFF was virtually bankrupt last year.
“It is something that (CONCACAF president Jeffrey) Webb said he shared at a (Caribbean Football Union) conference that Mr Watson was at,” said Tim Kee, at the Hasely Crawford’s VIP room. “It is something that is new to me but not new to them.”
It provoked a furious response from Watson.
“I have never had any such talk with Jeffrey Webb,” Watson told Wired868. “That would mean I knew about the money and had a chance to settle with the players and I did nothing and that is not true.
“Mr Tim has to retract that statement. Failing that I will be talking to my attorneys because that is an attempt to sully my name.”
CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb yesterday congratulated the TTFF on its settlement with the Soca Warriors in a statement relayed to the press through the local football body.
“In the interest of the development of the game, CONCACAF is very pleased with the commitment seen throughout our meetings to promote the sport,” stated Webb, “and ultimately reach a final agreement to resolve all pending matters within football in Trinidad and Tobago.
“In an effort to regenerate an environment of trust, we congratulate the Federation and its leadership for their continued quest to move forward past matters and build for the future development and growth of the game in the country.
“At CONCACAF, we were glad to have been of assistance to the Federation and will continue to set a clear roadmap that restores the integrity of the game in the region…”
However, Webb has not spoken directly about the source of the funds used to settle the case and he did not respond to requests for comment by Wired868.
Tim Kee, a former TTFF vice-president, has not yet responded to Watson’s ultimatum. He did admit yesterday that his relationship with the present TTFF executive, all of whom served under former boss Oliver Camps, was not harmonious.
“There have been challenges,” said Tim Kee. “I don’t want to speculate (about why that is so)… I am leading and it cannot affect my job. If any leader decides to stop every initiative because some people disagree, then nothing will get done.”
The next TTFF executive committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 29 May 2013.