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SPORTT CEO among eight suspensions while Julien dismissed; ‘Dinas’ takes centre stage

Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SPORTT) CEO Adam Montserin and facility manager Anthony Blake were among eight persons sent on 45 days administrative leave today on the advice of the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs.

This action was deemed necessary, according to a media release, so as to facilitate “a forensic investigation into the operations of the Company.”

Photo: SPORTT CEO Adam Montserin (centre) greets players and officials before kick-off between Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 10 March 2017.
TTFA vice-president Ewing Davis (right) broke away from the customary pre-game ritual to take a phone call.
(Copyright CAI Images/Wired868)

The appointment of one board member, Jason Louis Julien, was also revoked.

The other employees sent on leave were Jeewan Kowlessar (Internal Auditor), Naveen Maraj (Legal Officer), Darryl Stewart (Procurement Supervisor), Raj Ramtahal (Senior Manager Facilities Maintenance), Travis Watson (Project Co-ordinator) and Mellie Price (Project Administrator).

No official reason has been offered for the sweeping changes although it is believed to be linked to the process followed in contracts awarded to the Shanghai Group of Companies for work at the National Cycling Velodrome and Aquatic Centre in Couva.

It is uncertain how the Sport Company will operate for the next two months—if the suspensions are not extended—without its heads in the facilities, procurement, legal and audit departments and whether current SPORTT chairman Dinanath Ramnarine will be given increased powers as a result.

It was undoubtedly a disorienting day for SPORTT. Wired868 understands that that all the aforementioned employees were asked to join the Board in a meeting this morning at the Couva Velodrome to “discuss the future of the company.”

Photo: Former SPORTT board member Jason Louis Julien (right) prepares to score while goalkeeper James Saunders looks on during the 4th Annual Wired868 Football Festival at UWI SPEC Grounds, St Augustine in January 2016.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

Ramnarine, who chaired the meeting, allegedly asked everyone to hand over their cell phones and devices owing to the sensitivity of what was to be discussed. Once everyone complied, the SPORTT chairman supposedly told Board members and employees present that he was following a directive from the AG’s office and there were two representatives present from international auditing firm, PWC (PricewaterhouseCoopers).

According to one eyewitness, the members and employees were then “detained” for roughly half-hour in a board room. There were police officers present at one point although they left after a series of probing questions from Maraj about their supposed detention.

Today’s shake-up is the latest in a series of controversial incidents at the Sport Company, which has employed 11 different CEOs in the past decade and is already on its fourth chairman in just two and a half years.

Ramnarine, a former West Indies cricket and union boss, replaced former SPORTT chairman and international cyclist Michael Phillips in May.

Photo: Sport Company facility manager Anthony Blake (right) flashes the thumbs up before kick off between Trinidad and Tobago and the United States in 2018 World Cup qualifying action on 8 June 2017 in Commerce City, Colorado.
Alongside Blake are TTFA manager Richard Piper (centre) and former National Security Minister Gary Griffith.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA Images/Wired868)

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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18 comments

  1. Errol Ashby hmmmm… A company rife with quicksand…

  2. Why do we need a SPORTT company AND MIN OF SPORTS. Especially when NOTHING gets done. Every sport is in turmoil…. why does each government continue to waste money on that corrupt entity?!?!
    Close it down .

  3. ‘If you lie down wid puppie…puppie go lik yuh mout’.”..Y’all remember the 2 guys who changed their status and awarded themselves 5 figure monthly salaries…It was around 2009..Corruption is a culture of this type of government..UNC or PNM…Over invoicing on sport supplies,favouring certain sport stores, late payments of coaches stipends, hiring of ‘special advisors’..I ‘over saw?’ a program in 2009 where the Sports company simply refused to pay on a legally drafted document to track and field coaches..Any one going into that/those environments remember…”If yuh lie wid dawg..must rise wid fleas”

  4. Too late because of a lack of evidence or because it takes AG Ferris-Wheel too long to apply make-up and play cowboys & Indians with his kids at Camp Cummuto, maybe it took too long because the PM was too busy making excuses for his piss poor ministerial selection and their shenanigans at our expense? I wish them success with their audit, let’s see if anything comes out of it. What we are seeing at the Sport Company is that apparently after 2 years as the Minister of Sport, is that Daryl Smith is the kind of Man who doesn’t put the toilet seat back down after he takes a piss nor does he flush the toilet, I guess that would explain the number of Yellow Slime sympathizers/thieves in the Ministry.

  5. Camille Granger-Julien this is responsible journalism…

  6. Thing now start… Dane S G Wilson

  7. Every single time I see this pic with the gentleman on the phone I know sport is still treated with amateur regard by many of its administrators.

  8. But the shanghai group was involved in the construction of the facilities during the PP days and this is a new board and CEO so…

  9. Who are the key players over at the Shanghai Group?

  10. Yep all of the former crook people