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TTFA versus Tim Kee: FIFA must referee civil war in T&T football

FIFA chose to involve itself in Trinidad and Tobago’s football business on an obscure premise. Now, the world governing body has no choice but to play referee.

Two of the three Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) vice-presidents, Lennox Watson and Rudi Thomas, told Wired868 that they wrote to FIFA on October 20 to complain about the alleged undemocratic management of current president Raymond Tim Kee.

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)

The TTFA executive committee will also hold a special meeting this week without Tim Kee and his general secretary Sheldon Phillip while the members intend to see FIFA officials directly on Thursday.

Watson and Thomas complained that Tim Kee, who is also the Port of Spain mayor and PNM treasurer, has operated as a maximum leader in a similar style to the disgraced ex-FIFA vice-president Jack Warner.

“The TTFA’s governance has reached to a ‘Lone Ranger and Tonto’ stage,” said Thomas, who is the TTFA’s second vice-president. “The president is supposed to carry out the will of the executive committee. He is the legal representative of the organisation; but the constitution does not give him the authority to make decisions on behalf of the organisation.

“Yet it seems that the executive committee does not matter anymore. If you think things were bad in the Jack Warner days, it not so good now…

“We thought this was the opportunity to move the organisation into the 21st century; and yet here we are.”

The TTFA has made little headway with corporate Trinidad and Tobago under Tim Kee while several administrative bungles, including national senior team coach Randy Waldrum’s tweet for financial assistance, tested the patience of football fans.

Watson and Thomas claimed the football president was just as unpopular within football circles due to the alleged mismanagement and the lack of transparency under his watch.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender Lianna Hinds (left) keeps an eye on the ball against Haiti while teammate Brianna Ryce looks on. The women's team is one of several national outfits that have struggled financially. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender Lianna Hinds (left) keeps an eye on the ball against Haiti while teammate Brianna Ryce looks on.
The women’s team is one of several national outfits that have struggled financially.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

Both vice-presidents also accused Tim Kee of violating the constitution by failing to hold quarterly executive committee members or present financial reports. Tim Kee is the chairman of the TTFA Financial Committee although the body has never had an official meeting during his two-year term.

“There have been no financial reports at all (from the TTFA president and general secretary) since Tim Kee was in charge starting with the Peru game (in March 2013),” said Watson, “but money spending like a hell.

“And the fellah feels he can do whatever he likes.”

The tipping point for Watson and Thomas came on Sunday when, after being approached by a mediator, the executive committee agreed to meet Tim Kee to try and settle their differences.

Tim Kee initially gave an assurance that he and Phillips would attend any such meeting in the interest of football. However, once the executive took up the offer, the president allegedly baulked.

“The meeting was called to discuss the various issues of the organisation,” said Thomas. “He promised to come and, at the last moment, he called to find out who was there and then said he wasn’t coming.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association vice president Lennox Watson. Courtesy: Wired868
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association vice president Lennox Watson.
Courtesy: Wired868

The following day, the TTFA sent a media release, which stated that FIFA has postponed the football elections until June 2015. Trinidad and Tobago’s general election is constitutionally due in May 2015 and the Opposition party is favoured to return to power.

FIFA suggested that the reason for the delay was to get Trinidad and Tobago’s constitution in line with the governing body’s although, conversely, the zonal elections will be allowed to proceed next month.

Thomas agrees that the local football constitution needs to be revamped. However, he found it odd that FIFA took such a strong stance based on the constitution since it was the world governing body that approved it in the first place.

“The (TTFF) constitution was last updated in 2008 with the assistance of FIFA,” said Thomas. “The various TTFF constitutions were all approved by FIFA… So, right now, we don’t know what to make of this; because FIFA is taking action based on a letter  from Mr Tim Kee and we are not aware of that letter’s contents.”

Tim Kee could not be reached for comment while, up to publishing time, Phillips had not responded to questions by Wired868.

The local football officials had hoped to use the ballot to show their disapproval of the TTFA president next month. But, based on FIFA’s stance, that option seems temporarily denied to them.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) general secretary Sheldon Phillips. (Courtesy SPORTT)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) general secretary Sheldon Phillips.
(Courtesy SPORTT)

However, the TTFA vice-presidents said they will do what they can to make their feelings on Tim Kee’s governance style clear to FIFA and the local football president.

“If they don’t know, they can’t address,” said Watson. “If they know and don’t address, then that is not my fault.”

Tim Kee has already taken his shot. Now, the TTFA executive is calling for an infringement.

It is FIFA’s call; and it might be the governing body’s most important decision in these parts since Warner got the boot in 2011.

Ironically, both sides are accusing the other of following in Warner’s footsteps.

AboutLasana 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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27 comments

  1. The current coach worked for Lincoln during his soccer camps. They are buddies. Lincoln Philip is calling the shots behind the scenes in Trinidad football as well as Braithwaite. Classic case of Animal Farm. There is a movement to get rid of timkee. They even approached me to run for president but I don’t want it.
    Peace.
    mm

  2. They are all a bunch of jokers, maybe they should check when, how and by whom Tim Kee was brought into Football. All that is taking place is nothing strange nor unexpected and would continue unless and until the Trinidad and Tobago Football fraternity decides to Bell the Cat and do what is necessary to provide proper leadership for our Football.

  3. hmmmmm….. thanks for answer lasana, it is a pity that one of the younger, upcoming GK Coaches we re not given opportunity… do I smell some nepotism here? lol……..

  4. No. They are all getting per diems and so on. Not free. There are many goalkeeping coaches in Trinidad and Tobago. So it isn’t like the women were stuck either. He was chosen for the job.

  5. The ladies dont have a goalkeeping coach so maybe he is helping out….for free like all the coaching staff,hopefully…..

  6. Wired, is Lincoln Philip part of the official Women’s Team delegation?

  7. I am going up for President of TTFA

  8. What I love about this whole scenario is Whilst Everybody Eating Ah Food,Our Soca Queens WERE NOT AND COULD NOT EAT AH FOOD WITH $500(now I could be wrong but from what I understand the $500 was for the whole team) YET STILL THEY ROSE TO THE OCCASION showing the TTFA and by extension the Gov’t THE METTLE THEY ARE MADE OF….One thing I hope not to see is whether or not they qualify,whenever they touchdown here…NO MEMBER OF THE TTFA OR GOV’T WOULD BE IN THE AIRPORT FOR PHOTO OPS,TO HEAP PRAISES OR TO SAY WHAT THEY DID FOR THEM….congrats LADIES,YOU WOULD ALL CARRY T&T TO THE FINAL PHASE

  9. Sure send them. What are their names Rawle Toney?

  10. So when will Raymond Tim Kee resign as the President of TTFA? After embarrassing the entire country because as he put it “the system” !! Why don’t people who accept office do the right thing.? Isn’t this individual also a Treasurer of a political party , is the leader of such a party in his silence saying ” it’s ok?!” Take responsibility and Resign!! Elections or no TTFA Elections

  11. how is he behaving like Jack Warner ?

    Is Tim Kee paying bills and coaches from his personal fund ? Is his Salary being used to pay Staff ?

    Is Tim Kee pilfering from FIFA ? And giving to T&T ?

    huh ….

    If you ask me, they are not similar at all …

    Jack had bad qaulites but he did great things as well !

    I don’t see and profit for T&T from Tim Kee’s behaviour …

    There was plenty profit and benefit to T&T from Jack’s actions

  12. how about i let these two stop by in T&T to help ya’ll like they did in Guyana; installing a Normalisation Committee

  13. One would think the fiasco with the Soca Princesses and the embarrassment it caused the Country and the not so embarrassed TTFA, that FIFA would also be looking to go after Tim Kee’s head Instead they prefer to interfere in our politics. The whole lot from FIFA go right down are disgustingly shameless.

  14. Now I understand what the RTK meant by symptoms to a much deeper problem. I must note that when RTK and SP bounce their heads on their big toes with problems, I didn’t hear any of the ExCo jumping in to either support or bash them. It seems like they were waiting for the elections to simply vote them out. Now that the elections is postponed, more bacchanal! I must thank Mr. Live for the forum, whether it was misinformation or not, and Mr. Bakes for a look into the matter as well. I’ll really have to think about this one.

  15. Nothing has changed but names.

  16. I’m glad that you have identified Watson and Thomas as your ‘inside’ sources… it has long been clear to me that Watson in particular has been the one in your ear feeding you the misinformation which you then take and run with. As I corrected you over on socawarriors.net… the “exceptional circumstances” which prompted FIFA intervention pursuant to Article 7(1) and 7(2) was the bribery scandal. In addition, upwards of 90% of the TTFA membership are not current with their dues, which according to the current constitution, means that they are disenfranchised and cannot vote. Coupled with the huge debt, these have collectively prompted FIFA intervention. Even so, his point about FIFA having approved the Constitution in the past is foolishness, because FIFA revised its Standard Statutes in January or February of this year, prompting the new concerns about lack of compliance by the TTFF/A Statutes.
    As for the alleged failure to hold quarterly meetings with the ExCo, meetings were held:
    November 20, 2012, November 22, 2012, May 22, 2013 and August 22, 2013

    Special ExCo meetings were held: November 2, 2012, December 6, 2012, February 18, 2013 ,
    May 8, 2013 and June 27, 2013. All of this is available in the General Secretary’s Annual Report.

    I can’t fault you this time for the misinformation, but once again, don’t be so quick to believe the information you’re getting, and when you get it, treat it as information that has been passed along to you, not as “truth.”

    • Lasana Liburd

      Hello Sheldon Phillips or Sheldon Phillips’ mouthpiece,
      I did ask you for comment but if you prefer this route then feel free. As you seem to accept, quarterly meetings are mandated by the TTFA Constitution.
      You pointed to meetings on: “November 20, 2012, November 22, 2012, May 22, 2013 and August 22, 2013.”
      At this point, I would advise you to search the word “quarterly” in the dictionary.
      You are saying that FIFA changed its constitution in January or February and is concerned as a result that T&T is no longer in line with theirs.
      I suppose then that all the FAs throughout the world are trying to bring their constitutions in line and all have received nine month extensions. Right?
      The extraordinary circumstances that FIFA will create a normalisation commitee for, in your words , is a bribery scandal that occurred that three years ago. Yet, people found guilty of taking bribes and lying about it now serve on FIFA committees.
      Not to mention the obvious fact that a situation can hardly be called an emergency after three years.
      Thanks for your input. Sheldon.

      • Call me “Sheldon Phillips” if it makes you feel better, it does nothing to mask the stunning lack of impartiality (say nothing of substance) to your reporting. In tallying the ExCo meetings you conveniently leave out the “Special” ExCo meetings… as though a meeting is not a meeting. Nine meetings with the Executive Committee were held between November 2012 and August of 2013… Did Watson and Thomas NOT attend… or are they complaining about a lack of meetings this past year??

        As for the bribery scandal, your lack of comprehension betrays you. “Three years” ago following that incident FIFA was prepared to step in, pursuant to Article 7, and have the normalization committe take over. Tim Kee was able to convince them to give the TTFA a chance to identify and undertake its own reforms. That culminated in the IFCRC which met last year and finished up in April. FIFA and CONCACAF then have to meet with the TTFA (which they are doing as we speak) to identify a panel for the Reform Commission.

        FIFA changed its Standard Statutes in January and mandated that all local Federations comply. Cameroon also got an extension back in March so TnT is hardly unique. I’m sure if I were to search hard enough I’ll find other extensions. So again, check yuh sources. Claiming that I am “Sheldon Phillips” only makes you look more of a fool. You and I don’t know each other but we have enough mutual friends on socawarriors.net, friends who know me offline that they could show you how petty and silly you’re being with your ad hominem approach.

        • Lasana Liburd

          Special meetings are not statutory meetings nor do they nullify the need for statutory meetings.
          Check today’s date and then check the number of statutory meetings you were told there were… And then go find someone with a Primary School maths book.

  17. Apparently , FIFA want to create more problem for Trinidad and Tobago football, Tim Kee “must go” when his term expires. No more football controllers and dictators must be allowed to mash up the place.

  18. And they want to know why private sector not sponsoring

  19. No transparency and accountability………seems to be the order of the day, so Tim Kee just pick up from the last administration……..no improvement!