Home / Volley / Local Football / Gov’t owes Akeem Adams’ family $98k; all-star memorial match on Sunday

Gov’t owes Akeem Adams’ family $98k; all-star memorial match on Sunday

Friends and well wishers of late Trinidad and Tobago national youth team player and Ferencvaros defender Akeem Adams will hold an inaugural memorial match in his honour from 3.30 pm on Sunday January 4 at the Mahaica Oval in Point Fortin.

Photo: Ferencvaros paid glowing tributes to Akeem Adams although the Trinidadian only represented the club for a month and a half.
Photo: Ferencvaros paid glowing tributes to Akeem Adams although the Trinidadian only represented the club for a month and a half.

Dion Sosa, Adams’ former local agent, heads an organising committee for the event that includes former national football team administrators, Cheryl Abraham and Chris De Silva. The match will pit an Akeem Adams XI against local Pro League outfit, Point Fortin Civic.

The entry fee is $20 and all proceeds will go to a scholarship in Adams’ name, which will go to one Point Fortin student every year to help offset costs, accommodation or otherwise, for his or her university education.

But, while Adams’ former friends and associates try to create a lasting legacy for the two-time World Youth Cup player, there is hurt over alleged neglect by the Ministry of Sport.

Adams died in Budapest on 30 December 2013 after failing to recover from a massive heart attack at his apartment, three months earlier. Then acting Prime Minister Errol McLeod expressed condolences on his passing from the Government while Sport Minister Anil Roberts allegedly promised the family to foot the cost of the funeral.

“As a father I cannot begin to imagine the grief and despair his family is feeling in these difficult moments,” Roberts said at the time, via a press release. “Akeem was a talented young man who (…) stood as an example to many on how fully utilise all the gifts and talents bestowed on him by the Creator.

“He even faced his final challenge with an optimistic spirit and kept up the fight, right until the end.”

Photo: Former Sport Minister Anil Roberts (centre), ex-SPORTT Company CEO John Mollenthiel (left) and current SPORTT chairman Sebastien Paddington. (Courtesy SPORTT)
Photo: Former Sport Minister Anil Roberts (centre), SPORTT Company CEO John Mollenthiel (left) and SPORTT chairman Sebastien Paddington all quit their jobs in disgrace last year.
(Courtesy SPORTT)

But, a year later, the family received just $20,000 from the Sportt Company towards the funeral, which cost $118,000. The remaining $98,000 is supposedly due to be covered by the Ministry of Sport.

In Budapest, over 200 persons donated blood to Adams after his heart attack in September 2013 while his club, Ferencvaros, paid for his mother, Ancilla Dick, and brother, Akini Adams, to travel to Hungary and footed their accommodation there.

Former Portugal football star Deco, a European champion with Barcelona and Porto, was one of the former Presentation College (San Fernando) schoolboy’s more illustrious well-wishers as the playmaker auctioned his Fluminese club jersey to raise funds for the Trinidadian.

But in Trinidad, the response was mixed. Thousands of persons took to the social media to express their solidarity with the 22-year-old footballer and followed updates on his health closely.

But a TTFA fund raiser backfired when, despite the football body’s promise to send all funds to the family, it emerged that only $25 from each $100 Native Spirit tee-shirt sold actually went to the player. While TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee, Ambassador Margaret King-Rousseau and Roberts never visited Adams over the three months that he fought for his life at Varosmajori Heart Clinic in Budapest.

Photo: The Trinidad and Tobago and New Zealand football teams pose in Native Spirit "I support Akeem Adams" tee-shirts before kick off at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in October 2013. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: The Trinidad and Tobago and New Zealand football teams pose in Native Spirit “I support Akeem Adams” tee-shirts before kick off at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in October 2013.
(Courtesy Wired868)

After Adams’ passing, Presentation College staff set up a memorial in its car park, which included a photograph, candles and flowers. It was burgled within 24 hours.

And the Adams’ family was soon let down financially as well by the controversial then Sport Minister, who spent much of 2014 fighting unsuccessfully to keep his job after a lurid drug video and the revelation of massive corruption in his LifeSport programme.

Sosa and company will try to offer a more pleasant moment for Adams’ family and well-wishers on Sunday.

The Akeem Adams XI will include: Trinidad and Tobago’s Caribbean Cup duo of Aubrey David and Leston Paul as well as Pro League players Qian Grosvenor, Sean De Silva, Jean-Luc Rochford, Mekeil Williams and Alvin Jones.

David, Paul, Grosvenor, Rochford, Williams and De Silva all played alongside Adams at the Egypt 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup while Abraham and De Silva (C) were team administrators.

Adams’ brother, Akini, is a member of the Civic club which also includes “Soca Warrior” Marvin Phillip, veteran attacker Andre Toussaint, talented midfielder Akeem Redhead and the solid defensive pair of Andre Ettienne and Weslie John.

Photo: Point Fortin Civic custodian Akini Adams (centre) displays a message for his late brother, Akeem Adams, while teammates Andre Alexis (far right) and captain Andre Ettienne (second from left) look on after a domestic contest. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Point Fortin Civic custodian Akini Adams (centre) displays a message for his late brother, Akeem Adams, while teammates Andre Alexis (far right) and captain Andre Ettienne (second from left) look on after a local Cup fixture.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Sosa told Wired868 that all gate receipts will go towards the Akeem Adams’ scholarship and there will be no hidden expenses.

“All money from the gates is going to the scholarship,” said Sosa. “We have paid for everything else upfront so when the money is counted that entire figure goes to the scholarship.”

Sosa explained that, at present, Adams’ family is liaising with the Ministry of Legal Affairs in an effort to have the Government keep its word on the funeral expenses. Adams comes from a humble background and his mother is a domestic worker.

 

Editor’s Note: The Ministry of Sport set a timeline to honour its promise to pay the Akeem Adam funeral expenses within hours of this article. Click HERE to read the assurance from the SPORTT Company.

About Lasana 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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33 comments

  1. SURELY UR NOT SURPRISED AT THE OUTSTANDING 98K….ARENT OUR FEMALE FUTBALLERS IN SAME BOAT..EMPTY PROMISES

  2. POSH there big flag and all POINT WE COMING DOWN

  3. Lasana, While we all share in the pain of the Adams family we must also get real and find out the truth
    We all know that if this gov’t say that they spend 118K for funeral expenses all the critics will be shouting loud “CORRUPTION” but it is OK for his family to say 118k and you accept it even if they jacked up the figure that is OK. Im not saying that they did but if government is paying for it we should get a breakdown. ALso did you investigate if his club assist in his funeral expenses? If so how much? Im waiting on your reply
    While everyone is hunting corruption within the government we are accepting and ignoring it in other places.

    • Lasana Liburd

      Hello. As far as I am aware, the club did not help with funeral expenses. And Ferencvaros was certainly generous to Akeem and his family while he was fighting for his life.
      I do agree that the Government should always check invoices when taxpayers’ money is at stake. But I’m assuming this is the case in this instant as well.
      If I am told otherwise, I would make an update.

  4. We have to continue shaming them publicly, Lasana

  5. Please let it be true. Let it come to pass.

  6. Well, this was quick…
    Relief promised for Akeem Adams’ family. Sportt Company vows to clear Government’s $98,000 funeral debt within a week
    http://wired868.com/2015/01/02/sportt-company-vows-to-clear-debt-to-akeem-adams-family-within-a-week/

  7. RIP! SIS would soon liquidate this debt as a corporate entity with a social conscience and love for sports as well as being blessed with bountiful gifts of contracts via PeePee generosity to its financiers.

  8. this young man did so much for the country, but the lil 3 year old who died in the crash kamla send one of her clowns to tell the family they are footing the entire bill for the funeral,

  9. this issue was brought up with Tim Kee on Andre’s show as well. the TTFA has absolved itself from any responsibility and no one is standing for the family.

  10. My heart goes out to his family. All the best for the New Year

  11. Whoever in the government has failed this family should be publicly called out. Explain to us why..what reason do they have for not paying this money? Life Sport took all? Someone needed a new TV for a hotel in St Lucia? Fed up of the nonsense.

  12. Is anyone curious as to why this funeral cost as much as $118k or is this a reasonable amount?

    • I did not attend the funeral and I can’t say I have much idea about the usual costs for funerals.
      I do know there might have been additional expenses because his body was flown in from Hungary while the funeral itself catered to the Ministers, MPs, Mayors, sport administrators and so on who wanted to attend the funeral.
      The Ministry of Sport, allegedly via a letter, agreed to foot the bill for all of those things.

    • Don’t worry it would get paid,elections right round the corner.

  13. But they had money fuh build boards of kamla face to plaster all over d highways though just ask vasant

  14. This is getting beyond disgusting now. One billboard could have paid this bill. Steups!

  15. Geez… it never ends, don’t it? Sweet Trinidad, eh! The land of empty promises, unless you have connections.

  16. All the money that flowed through Life Sport… All the Christmas gifts from the PM.
    And yet…

  17. Shame…but what else do we expect?

  18. This is a Great Shame and Disgrace SMH, Continue to Rest In Paradise Akeem!!!

  19. I’m not surprised …… But give $$ away for rubbish
    Sad though, his passing should have been used to make sure players in leagues in Trinidad have medical insurance / care should unexpected situations occur.
    What about the money from the t shirts ? Didn’t most of the proceeds not end up with his family

  20. 🙁 really? that’s ………….. sad