Sport Minister Brent Sancho responded to criticism by Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president Raymond Tim Kee by blasting the management of the football body as well as Tim Kee’s integrity and competence.
The following is the full text from the Sport Minister:
Since my appointment as Minister of Sport (in February 2015), I have been called on time after time to respond to criticism levelled at me by TTFA President Raymond Tim Kee.
In most instances, my responses have been off the cuff statements in response to questions from journalists.
However, I have decided now that it is time to make my position clear, once and for all, and not just correct the misinformation put into the press by Mr Tim Kee, but also ask a few questions of my own.
“The TTFF is the worst-run sporting organisation in Trinidad and Tobago, they flout all rules and procedures. They totally disregard all checks and balances that are here at the Ministry of Sport and the Sport Company. Checks and balances are very important for transparency, accountability and making sure we get value for money. This is taxpayers’ money we are dealing with.”
These are not my words, they’re the words of Minister of Sport Anil Roberts in 2011.
Yet here we are in 2015 and the same rings true. Yet I am accused of bullying Mr Tim Kee.
Mr Tim Kee was an important part of the TTFF administration which was controlled by Jack Warner, the master puppeteer. As a vice-president and, at one point, chairman of TTFF’s finance committee, it is impossible to believe that Mr Tim Kee’s curiosity would not have been aroused by huge transactions entering and departing TTFF accounts under the orders of Mr Warner.
In one such instance in 2008, Mr Tim Kee was copied into an email conversation concerning the distribution of a US$500,000 cheque. This cheque was converted to TT dollars and distributed into three accounts, including two TTFF accounts.
Within 24 hours of these transactions, Mr Warner advised his secretary, “do take note of the amounts which went into the LOC Account as well as the T&TFF’s account both of which must be repaid.” Mr Tim Kee was copied into this conversation.
Such a large transaction should have caused concern, not only because it was originally in US dollars, not only that it was layered into three different accounts, but that Warner was instructing that the money must be repaid.
For what innocent reason would such a transaction occur?
Mr Tim Kee, even as recently as yesterday at an extraordinary general meeting of TTFA, stated that he had no knowledge of any suspect transactions made by Warner.
I am not an investigator. I am not an auditor. There may possibly be a perfectly innocent reason for this transaction.
But because I am not sure, three weeks ago I forwarded this to lawyers in the USA who will now investigate the transaction further.
Our very own FIU laws state that mere knowledge of such a suspicious transaction, if failed to report to the FIU, can result in a fine of TT$3 million AND imprisonment of up to 7 years.
From 2007 to 2009, over TT$17.7 million was paid to Warner controlled accounts from TTFF’s Long Circular Mall Republic Bank account alone, yet Mr Tim Kee, the current PNM Treasurer, was apparently completely oblivious.
And now I have to ask: Is Jack back? Is Mr Tim Kee the new reincarnation of Jack Warner?
Since my tenure as Minister of Sport began in February, I have frequently requested sight of TTFA accounts, which is a stipulation of the cabinet note so often referred to.
I did not insert this condition, but I believe I have a duty to ensure that this condition is met. Still, without sight of the accounts and in the face of several broken TTFA promises, I have continued to fund our National Teams.
Yet everything that goes wrong appears to be my fault. But the truth is that TTFA is poorly run.
Look at the comedy of errors, much of which has been laid at the feet of my Ministry: The visa-debacle, the frantic changes in players, the decision to pay match fees at Pan Am without any agreement from TTOC.
And before that, the Argentina embarrassment, the missing $400,000, the Akeem Adams T-shirt scandal, the players’ Jamaican impasse.
Yet none of these instances were the fault of Mr Tim Kee?
Yet through all of this, our National teams have persevered so that today, we stand proud of our team’s performances at both the Gold Cup and Pan Am.
We now face a period where everything that TTFA say much be examined closely.
Mr Tim Kee’s press release said: “By written communication… the Ministry was alerted to funds available to TTFA from CONCACAF.”
This is true. What Mr Tim Kee doesn’t admit to is that this information was given AFTER the Ministry had paid the air fare for the Gold Cup and AFTER the Ministry had made several direct enquiries.
Mr Tim Kee doesn’t mention that when, on the 25th of June, a TTFA official was asked: “Is it that CONCACAF will take care of internal flights and accommodation during the tournament, but TTFA have to cover travel to and from the tournament?”
The official replied: “That is correct.”
Or that on 28th June, that same TTFA official told PS (Gillian) MacIntyre that US$100,000 would be received from CONCACAF at end of July and was to assist with Gold Cup travel.
Meanwhile I received confirmation from CONCACAF that the funds had already been despatched. Yet still, TTFA continued to request funding from the Ministry, including a request to pay for laundry.
To date, I have paid match fees for Panama, Curacao and Jordan. I have just received a request for US$157,500 match fees for the Gold Cup group stage and US$70,000 for the quarter finals.
So which match fees does the US$33,000 on the TTFA pie chart relate to?
I have gone on record as a former player stating that players deserve the right to earn as much money as possible. However, I do question the right of TTFA to promise match fees and stipends to players that they simply cannot afford to pay.
Watch every word that Tim Kee speaks.
He says TTFA were successful in sourcing alternative funding. Were they?
Apparently, their alternative source of funding is the prize money earned when the players qualified for the Gold Cup.
How can Tim Kee lay claim to sourcing that money? He should be thanking his players for saving his skin. But Mr Tim Kee likes to take the credit rather than accept responsibility.
He says TTFA have reduced debts by $23 million. Well, then show us, Mr Tim Kee.
To my knowledge, $18 million of that debt was to the (2006 World Cup) “SocaWarriors” and was wiped off by the Government.
But, of course, Mr Tim Kee would never admit that.
The rest was paid with FIFA grants supposed to be used for grass roots development.
So, show us the books Mr Tim Kee. Show us where you have actually generated income and paid off your debts.
The truth is that Mr Tim Kee cannot attract any support from corporate T&T aside from some jerseys, bottles of water and Gatorade. Pro League clubs put him to shame. And with such a tiny amount of turnover, the PNM Treasurer still can’t account for his spending or manage to balance his books.
Mr Tim Kee has managed to keep himself in place until November in the hope that the Government changes in September and he will be safe.
Well, Mr Tim Kee, I say to you that with people like you leading the PNM, they will be lucky to retain their deposits. And come (the TTFA elections in) November we will, at last, get to see a truly responsible TTFA who are willing to be transparent and work alongside the Ministry of Sport.
Has there ever been a sporting organisation behave so disrespectfully towards its main sponsor?
And perhaps that explains why Mr Tim Kee cannot attract a dollar in sponsorship to TTFA.
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Shut up Brent, once you joined that band of bandits, you start smelling like one. you just gone and got yourself tainted.
well as a. mayor he is the wort PoS has ever seen! the cpital looks run down ! but his private affairs seem to be doing good!
Brent talking integrity. First get yourself an English dictionary then get yourself a return ticket to the USA your new home Just what the hell you know of T&T politics and even more so sangre grande
It seems that because you are a PNM YOU must not be questioned????
stay in your lane
Maybe Sanco should run for TTFA Presidential race because no one would vote for him as UNC spoiled brat
brent has brown nose
The worst thing Sancho could’ve done is started his rebuttal with a quote from Anil Roberts.
Brent I think u better hush..and let people try to like u…
Brent isn’t wrong
and wired 868 is Real PNM mouthpiece
I guess ‘guilty by association’ is only for one side…? Politics and Football at its best ! I hope the players remain focus and give of their best !…Hats off to our dedicated sportsmen and women !
Sancho needs to be put in his place. I have evidence of his bullying, lying and amateurish political grandstanding.Very unfortunate but look at his associates.
Sound like an election campaign speech to me .
Smh. Sancho is right
in my honest opinion, I’ve always thought that the PNM’s choice of TTFA President Raymond Tim Kee was misguided, simply because of his association to Jack Warner and being embroiled in the whole FIFA scandal involving the soca warriors.
Hope our footballers not studying them and their shit. Stay focused Warriors.
This is pure politics and egos battling. Football is the unfortunate ancillary culprit !
This has little to do with sport & football…it’s more like politics and ego !
All the minister have written about is pre 2012!! Not defending Tim kee but Sancho must answer to whether he instigated players revolt the U23 in 2012 ,the women team for the Pan Am and last year, the men team before the caribbean cup last? Thats to start and i will warn him be very careful of his answer very careful because the landslide could start God knows where it will stop!! Time for administers to stop playing games with young peoples life!! Not only those that represent the national teams but those who live their life differently with the hope of doing so!!
Those two at it again??? They both need to grow up. What an example for our Children like JW and his former cohorts are not enough. Steups!
Brent is the PP peepee!
“…Still, without sight of the accounts and in the face of several broken TTFA promises, I have continued to fund our National Teams.”
Rock and a hard place?
If Mr. Sancho quoted from Anil Roberts during his statement, he’s already on a horrible foot. Anil Roberts proved he knew very little, or nothing, about management. He was a poor manager at work, he was a poor manager in his home.
“Has there ever been a sporting organisation behave so disrespectfully towards its main sponsor?”
Therein lies (a big part of) the problem. If there has been any disrespect by Tim Kee it has been towards Sancho (and vice versa, of course). The main sponsor of the TTFA is the Ministry of Sports, not Brent Sancho. Sancho clearly cannot separate the two.
Brent who took money from the government when the people already give him $1 million dollars and talking about repaying the government when jack pay him. Since when the government is a lending agency? Brent Sancho. When you took that money you lost all credibility.
yes and you Sancho is reincarnated of ANIL ROBERT..
Jack Warner 2.0. Not that I think that Tim Kee is guilty of impropriety but by association, he would be considered as such…. JW 2.0
wow all over again
Too many trini associations, non profits etc, default to the moral high ground to get their way when the truth is that they’re not doing things the way they should. So its customary to hear folks say “its the the athletes that matter etc etc”. However, its also the taxpayers $ that matter. In other words the nobility of the cause should not be used as a means of excusing poor performance.
It looks like only the elections would calm things down. Either Gov’t elections in September or TTFA elections in November.
But neither election would solve the underlying problem.
Lasana, didI not predict this exact occurence when the announcement that San-ko was made the new Sports Minister? Given the unique and acrimoniuos history between the current minister and the adminstration of the TTFA, this sniping and back-biting will continue for some time while football as a whole suffers …
This spat is becoming borderline from being ridiculous to being subliminal. Someone tell me why in the world don’t both parties hire Justice Kokaram or Tom Kalpatoo to mediate on this? Why aren’t there two teams from each side working things out? Blaming each other all the time would not solve the blooming problem regardless of who is right and who is wrong! How mature are we as a country really? We have a world top 10 team in a top tournament right now that is performing well.
as written, im with the Minister 100%
Pot calling Kettle Black….
The Bullshit Bus rolls on….
I’ve seen some things….the TTFA is trouble yes
So wait, Tim Kee accused Sancho of being a bully and Sancho countered by accusing Tim Kee of being Jack Warner reincarnated?
Dem chirren need mediation!
He must be taking d money to finance PNM campaign isn’t he the PNM treasurer
This is a political statement as it speaks of the PNM by equating them to Tim Kee. I do however agree that not only should TK not have anything further to do with TTFA, he should bow out of his positions as Treasurer of the PNM and Mayor of POS. If PNM wins the next election, I would be extremely disappointed if he was given any position in government including appointment as a senator. Everything the KCR told KPB about JW will apply and I hope that KCR heeds his own warnings.
I don’t want Tim Kee even running a balisier farm. The man is a total embarrassment. How he got where he is and where he was is beyond my understanding.
The question I have is what do we want? Based on what I have read above, Sancho seems eager to get things done by the book, holding people accountable, and assuring that all are aware of their responsibilities. There is definitely bad blood between Tim Kee and Sancho but that is neither here nor there. What matters is that our athletes are taken care of and funds must be properly accounted for and recorded. A major concern I have is that TTFA books have not been presented to the Ministry of Sports for review. I am nervous about that.
Brent ya can’t walk in that Man shoes
I don’t see how this relationship between Sancho and Tim Kee is helpful to Trinidad ball.
Strong words. …. this getting very ugly
But is Brent Sancho the new anil Roberts putting politics before the sports you love
Saying I this, I that, just ticks me off.
“I have paid match fees”? Boy you eh pay for a damn thing. All you are doing is making me annoyed that WE paid you that Million dollar bonus.
But the bigger problem is Sancho is Jack Arse re-incarnated.