Address from Brent Sancho on behalf of the 13 World Cup 2006 players:
I am overwhelmed.
On behalf of those of us who have been fighting a long, tough legal battle to get our just due payment for our efforts at the FIFA World Cup, Germany 2006, this moment means more than any of us can describe.
While so many have turned their backs on us and ignored our pleas, we have finally been heard; as is acknowledged here today.
And what a time for it to happen. Here we are on the eve of World Cup, 2014, Brazil and when our own memories of that time return mixed with the emotions of our unsettled payments, we can truly celebrate and pay tribute to those who have chosen to honour us.
On behalf of the Soca Warriors members who stuck it out over the years enduring so many legal battles may I take the time to express my gratitude to the Honourable Prime Minister and her government for this heart warming gesture.
We recognize that the government has no legal obligation to assist us yet chose to do so through this gesture. All of Trinidad and Tobago can breathe a collective sigh of relief that a moment that brought us all so much happiness and pride is free of any grievance.
Those who played their hearts out have asked me to convey their sincere appreciation. We will all follow the events in Brazil this week with an unfettered spirit and only great memories of the time the Trinidad and Tobago anthem played on the football field in Germany.
Thank you all for the recognition.
Each one of us, humbly accepts this gift from the nation. We feel acknowledged and deeply grateful.
Brent Sancho, for and on behalf of the Soca Warriors
Letter from TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee, who initially reached a settlement with the World Cup players but then failed to adhere to it:
Dear Honourable Prime Minister,
After 11 months of collaboration and discussion between our organization and your office as well as other ministries, the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association would like to express our gratitude for your acknowledging the outstanding debt owed to the 2006 Soca Warriors. This is a tremendously important and joyous day for all of us football lovers.
Records will indicate, our initial efforts focused on the invaluable role government can play in making football relevant again in Trinidad and Tobago, starting with addressing the vexing issue surrounding the debts owed to the ’06 Warriors and others such as Russell Latapy and other members of our technical staff.
The sport of football plays an immeasurable role in this nation and the rest of the world as the world’s most popular sport. The attention commanded by the World Cup in Brazil further underscores the depth and reach of the sport.
As the entity recognized by FIFA to govern football in Trinidad and Tobago, we are particularly pleased that after months of discussion between our organization and the government, as reflected in the attached correspondence, football in Trinidad and Tobago will thrive as a result of your benevolence.
It continues to be our firm belief that football can be used as an effective and compelling tool for crime reduction and community development.
Honourable Prime Minister, on behalf of our Executive, administration, and rest of our football family, we say thank you very much indeed.
Raymond Tim Kee, TTFA president
Release from former TTFF special advisor, Jack Warner, who continues to hide the 2006 World Cup revenue and refused to pay the Soca Warriors:
I understand that the Prime Minister will be paying the 2006 Soca Warriors the sum of $1.3 million this evening at her home.
I want to take this opportunity to wish them well and to hope that this finally brings closure to this matter.
This group of footballers who played three matches in the 2006 World Cup in Germany and who never scored a goal nor win a match there and who now stand to benefit from the Prime Minister’s benevolent gesture received $20 million dollars from the Patrick Manning administration, $7 million from FIFA, $4 million from the TTFF, $6 million from Jack Warner through the Courts of Trinidad and Tobago and now $1.3 million USD from the People’s Partnership Government; a total sum of close to $50 million dollars and this excludes gifts from private organisations like Clico and others.
It is my sincere wish that this is the end of this story and that the furniture and the archival material, which the TTFA lost when this team of footballers levied on the TTFF, will now be returned to it.
However, if the Prime Minister really wants to demonstrate that this is truly benevolence and not Public Relations to lift the flagging image of her Minister of Sport, then I wish to advise her to go further and save the home of Oliver Camps.
Camps who served football with distinction for over 50 years as President and Team Manager and who was the most successful football manager ever, taking our seniors to the 2006 World Cup in Germany signed a promissory note of $480,000.00 USD on behalf of the TTFF in order to procure the services of Wim Risenberg (sic) as coach of the national team.
The TTFF has been unable to raise the money and now Al Roberts’ firm, father of the Minister of Sport, is now moving to levy on this 98-year-old senior citizen.
Mr. Camps’ home, Madam Prime Minister, is now threatened. If he cannot raise the money he will lose it by September 2014, if not before.
In this regard I am therefore asking the Prime Minister to be as benevolent to Mr. Camps as she has been to these footballers and save the home of this 98 year old senior citizen.
Jack Warner, former special advisor to the then T&TFF
Editor’s Note: Click HERE to read the Soca Warriors’ attorney Michael Townley’s response to the W/Cup settlement and the comments from Raymond Tim Kee and Jack Warner.