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No thanks: TTFA returns Haitian donation for Soca Princesses

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) formally declined an offer of financial assistance from Haiti today as TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee wrote his Haitian counterpart Dr Yves Jean-Bart to say thanks but no thanks.

Haiti national women’s coach Shek Borkowski, a Polish native, said his players heard the Trinidad and Tobago team’s plea for financial aid last Wednesday and offered to give the “Soca Princesses” their entire pot of US$1,300, which they raised from tee-shirt sales and donation.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national women's team coach Randy Waldrum took to Twitter last Wednesday morning.
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national women’s team coach Randy Waldrum took to Twitter last Wednesday morning.

“My players saw on social media the difficulties faced by T&T players and approached me about what can we do to help,” Borkowski told FoxSports on October 9. “I was stunned. They were very animated about helping so I will do as they asked.”

The Haitians were among well-wishers who responded promptly and Trinidad and Tobago coach Randy Waldrum raised just under US$10,000 within 24 hours.

The tale has changed dramatically since then, though.

In a Thursday press conference, Tim Kee accused Waldrum of an “emotional disturbance” and asked the US-born coach to apologise, which he did. And the TTFA subsequently collected funds from the Ministry of Sport and Petrotrin as well.

And, today, the TTFA released a letter from Tim Kee to Jean-Bart which thanked him for his generosity but suggested he use it for his own nation’s programmes.

“Knowing the struggles your players and the Haitian nation have endured, your gesture was moving to say the least,” stated Tim Kee. “However, the planned financial support we expected for the tournament from our stakeholders in Trinidad and Tobago has reached our team.

“Therefore, we could not in good conscience accept your donated funds knowing of your program’s own needs and our nation’s ability to support its national programs.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) Raymond Tim Kee (right) enjoys some conversation at the 2014 FIFA Congress in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Copyright TTFA Media)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) Raymond Tim Kee (right) enjoys some conversation at the 2014 FIFA Congress in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
(Copyright TTFA Media)

Incidentally, Jean-Bart was involved in an aid dispute with Trinidad and Tobago, three years ago, that was significantly different in nature.

In 2011, the Haitian football president accused then Minister of Works and ex-TTFF special advisor Jack Warner of failing to pass on US$690,000 (TT$4.4 million) in aid money after the devastation 2010 Port-au-Prince earthquake. Warner, who was the CONCACAF and Caribbean Football Union (CFU) president at the time, collected funds from FIFA and the South Korea FA to be relayed to Haiti but, according to Jean-Bart, only relayed a tiny sum to the impoverished island.

Warner failed to prove his innocence and the TTFF was forced to repay the missing FIFA money.

The Trinidad and Tobago women will meet Haiti on October 17 in what can be a decisive CONCACAF fixture at Toyota Park in Bridgeview with both teams hoping to grab the runner-up spot behind the United States.

(The TTFA letter in full)

Dear President Jean-Bart,

I want to sincerely thank you for the way your team responded to the perceived need of our women’s national team.
Knowing the struggles your players and the Haitian nation have endured, your gesture was moving to say the least.
However, the planned financial support we expected for the tournament from our stakeholders in Trinidad and Tobago has reached our team.

Therefore, we could not in good conscience accept your donated funds knowing of your program’s own needs and our nation’s ability to support its national programs.
All the best to you and your players.

Warm Regards,

Raymond Tim Kee

President

TTFA

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50 comments

  1. I think i may have been misunderstood. I felt the money should have been returned to Haiti not as a slap in the face for their goodwill but the fact that we should not have been in a position in the first place where they felt compelled to give us their money. I totally agree they showed not only class but a generosity that was unsurpassed. The TTFA being the classless bunch that they are did the right thing but the wrong way. I salute the Haitians for what they did and i wish them well in the tournament. Respect!

  2. Now the WORLD is seeing how foolish, disorganized, inept and incompetent Trinidad and Tobago is. I am a Trinidadian and many times downright appalled and ashamed of the ineptitude and illiteracy stalking this supposed oil rich country. As Rex Nettleford of Jamaica rightly stated of us, ‘we have more dollars than SENSE!!! What an embarrassment to Trinidad and Tobago inflicted upon us by Tim Kee and his cohorts! The American coach was RIGHT to call US OUT!!!, call a spade a spade. Why is Tim Kee still here? He should have immediately offered his resignation instead of seeking to chastise the coach for Tim Kee’s organizational mis-steps. His return of the money to Haiti is an attempt to show Trinidad and Tobago as superior. It is an INSULT!! We are superior to NONE. Let’s get that very clear here. Let’s “BIG-UP” Haiti here for its <3 and unconditional response to Trinidad's obvious plight and disgraceful faux pas! Thanks Haiti!

  3. O gorm, girl Maven; yuh din bong to slap Debs so hard ^^^^ : “haiti and the women’s football club who gave all and the last that they had… by offering that gift showed that they are not poor at all but i know i could never convince you all otherwise.”

    There is an understanding among those who know cricket that says: “Form is temporary; but class is class.”
    Few outside of the cricketing fraternity understand or accept this.
    Haiti’s gift to our girls showed exceptional class while Tim Kee’s flinging it back in their faces reveal both poor form and even less class.

  4. Foolish. The question should be why de ass the grls were on the plane in the first place without money. Who is responsible for that?

  5. i wonder who can answere me this question the ttfa have no money, so who pay the media officer, or is he working elsewere and doing this part time

  6. I think it was a good move giving back the money because we no longer need it but even more importantly we are going to be playing against Haiti in our group and don’t want our girls thinking we owe them any favours. Half of winning the battle against Haiti and the other teams in our group is going to be mental. Here is what the head coach has to say: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPpzXv6VHRI

  7. I agree with Huggins. In almost every culture, to return/refuse a gift is an insult. To many we should be paying Haiti for sure, but there is a time and place for everything. And before all that, let us consider exactly what this refusal means: nah Haiti we too rich for this gift. Thanks eh, but keep it for allyuh own hungry poor people. And even if this was a political stunt by Haiti meant to embarrass the TTFA then they deserved it. Wholeheartedly.

  8. there is a thing called class that i am now convinced people never really knew what it was and what it looks like hesma

  9. haiti and the women’s football club who gave all and the last that they had… by offering that gift showed that they are not poor at all but i know i could never convince you all otherwise.

    cheers though

  10. Sorry Hesma we are not looking like misfits we ARE misfits.

  11. Debbie there were other ways to do this. It just looks as if we rebuffed them. We are already looking like misfits, do we want to continue the foolishness.

  12. Disagree Maven Huggins. I would have felt more ashamed if they didn’t return the money. Haiti is a very poor Country and i felt ashamed that this poor Nation were willing to give us all they had which was $1,300 US. Tim Kee should have given them back a hundred times more than that or possibly what they are still owed. SMH!!

  13. To begin with, I must say that through all my football administrative ventures, I have nothing but pleasant memories of the TTFA President from our interactions and conversations.

    However, this is a quagmire that will not go away easily nor quietly.

    For there is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON AT ALL WHATSOEVER, why in a nation as wealthy as ours, with government and administrators who all claim to support athletic activities, that a national team of the nation’s most popular sport, should even find itself in such an embarrassing predicament. NO REASON – only excuses.

    So, Raymond pardna, hear meh out…

    One: To demand an apology from Waldrum only reeks of self-preservation, which in turn reeks of culpability, which in turn means that an apology was completely unnecessary.

    Two: Any caring individual, finding themselves in any similar situation, WILL make an “emotional disturbance”. After all, it is that person who is responsible FOR his/her players and TO the players families.

    And three: There was certainly no “perceived need”. The need was real and critical – physically and mentally.

    Remember, this is the greatest opportunity and challenge our team has faced thus far in their international careers. And as with all international tournaments, a good performance can lead to immeasurable opportunities for scholarships or contracts and this mess can seriously jeopardise their chances.

    But for now, its on to the finger pointing and cross accusations.

  14. one of the most ugly things to do in the world, at any level, personal, to macro to nation…is return a gift, to not accept a gift. it is like spitting on the love, goodwill, kindness extended to you.

  15. Kelvin, doh sound like JW and never tell us eh

  16. I was the one who told them to return the money on SW.net if they had any pride otherwise they would probably have kept the Haiti donation.

  17. Awaiting Kelvin Jack’s statements with bathed breath.

  18. is this the F***IN ASSHOLE who embarrased a whole country, he certainly looks the part, good ppl does get killed by stray bullet and nuthin will probably happen 2 this IDIOT, he might even get a raise wit this govt

  19. Will have my say soon about these clowns running football..

  20. Tim Kee the die already cast, TnT looking bad under you, so returning the money just making us look petty and dottish. On behalf of TnT I say thank you Haiti.

  21. After the first shame it would have been even more shameless for Tim Kee not to return the money to Haiti. A certain someone is alleged to have stolen Haiti money in the past. Maybe he now putting down ah shame but for $1,300. US when they are owed millions. Steups!!

  22. I want a scarf like the P M Tim kee and Dr Rowley own yes

  23. Nothing will change Do u believe in Karma?

  24. What do you expect from this arrogant, condescending man?

  25. Tim key. I dont want to say u are a jackass, but y is your ears so long? And those 4 nobby knees! Respect is given when it is deserved. 1st, it was not perceived. I admired those girls for trying to do your job. 2nd i know ttff has problems from A J W actions.
    @ do you know how to say i’m sorry?

  26. A day may well come when T&T is no longer an economic leader in this region and specifically Caricom. Should that day come our neighbors may have little in the way of kindness to return to us.

  27. Kendall Tull, FIFA deducted US$250,000 from its annual subvention to the TTFF and that was given to Haiti. But most of the US$500,000 from South Korea allegedly vanished.
    The Haitian football president said only about $381,000 (US$60,000) ever made it on the island. So the TTFF was forced to repay Warner’s debt, which means taxpayers footed the bill since the bankrupt TTFF had to be bailed out by the Gov’t.
    http://wired868.com/2012/02/12/warner-named-in-haitian-aid-scandal/

  28. The sense of entitlement we see exhibited by persons in authority in this country is appalling.

    And he has the gall to insult the Haitians after his massive failing.

  29. A quite wonderful and genuine gesture was greeted with an arrogant, backhanded slap! Tim Kee’s letter really lacked in class and tact.
    I too find that ‘perceived’ was an amazing choice of words. I guess the Soca Princesses were to perceive transport to the hotel, perceive the balls when they went to practice and when their stomach growled at lunch from hunger and thirst they could perceive a hearty meal too! And still, no apology on what clearly was an administrative cock-up by the TTFA in the first place!
    The arrogance shown here is the true emotional disturbance.

  30. I feel like we need to pen a letter to the Haitian Football Association thanking them for the offer and apologizing for Tim Kee’s bad manners explaining he’s a quenk fresh out the La Basse

  31. What these people need to remember is that they are representing all of us, not themselves.
    If they feel any personal disdain for Haitians that’s on them, but don’t speak to them like that on my behalf.

  32. Can he be more condescending?

    “Therefore, we could not in good conscience accept your donated funds knowing of your program’s own needs and our nation’s ability to support its national programs.”

  33. The part I found MOST disturbing was his use of the word “perceived”…really???

  34. It was meant to be insulting. In other words he was saying he don’t take handouts from no destitute country, only wealthy countries need apply.

  35. Kendall, now tell me! Any chance of that ever happening? Where did those ‘returned’ funds come from Lasana? Doh believe that one bit. I also find his statement regarding Haiti’s needs in very poor taste. Insulting even.

  36. The Haitian team and it’s coach showed a lot of class by responding to the beleaguered Soca Princesses plight. Tim Kee on the other hand showed no class whatsoever, he could have declined the offer graciously, but no he just had to point out the financial disadvantages faced by Haiti.
    That tells me one thing, he was humiliated by the Haitian’s offer. Funny though that he felt no such humiliation from American charity.

  37. Did they really repay the Haiti donation that went awol?

  38. Ah shame, ah shame, ah shame. How much more Lord Fadda?

  39. TTFF should have demanded the Haiti money from Warner, then perhaps they would have funds to send with the team instead of scrambling after the fact to pay for their needs.

  40. Haiti to the rescue, you all Haiti to the rescue of oil rich T&T . thanks Haiti for your show of unconditional love and support..

  41. Where is that idiot resignation letter, the war drums should be beating and the nation chanting for the dismissal of this incompetent shameless piece of crap.