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2006 World Cup Warrior: Warner must resign from Govt

By STEPHON NICHOLAS Saturday, April 20 2013

A number of damning allegations involving former Concacaf president, Jack Warner, were made yesterday at the organisation’s Congress in Panama which has triggered further calls in Trinidad for him to resign as a Member of Parliament.

A detailed 113-page report compiled by Sir David Simmons, Chairman of Concacaf ’s Integrity Committee unearthed serious concerns and lead Simmons to describe Warner’s tenure as head of Concacaf as riddled with fraudulent management.

Brent Sancho, a former member of the 2006 Soca Warriors team embroiled in a legal battle with the local governing body over payment of bonuses during the 2006 World Cup campaign, said he is not surprised by the findings.

Sancho noted that Sir David’s report that Warner was fraudulent in his management of Concacaf ’s business mirrored that of his handling of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) when he was its Special Adviser.

“It is something we saw during our court case with the TTFF. We found out that there was no appropriate accounting and no transparency whatsoever so I’m not surprised. You can see the pattern with the same people involved at Concacaf,” he declared.

The former national defender called on Prime Minister Kamla Persad- Bissessar to remove Warner from his post as Minister of National Security and also believes he should step down as a Member of Parliament.

“We as a country need to wake up and smell the coffee. We seem to be desensitised when it comes to Warner. He’s not fit to be a Member of Parliament. Questions need to be asked because he is a public official and he must answer these questions and prove them wrong,” Sancho concluded.

Meanwhile, TTFF president Raymond Tim Kee expressed surprise with Sir David’s report and said the evidence produced was quite overwhelming.

“My first response was one of surprise. With everyone with whom I spoke to previously, it was felt that you should wait on the facts before you engage in any passing of blame. What I heard today was empirical. I do not know that there is any doubt in anybody’s mind about some of the things that transpired...This is not a happy day for Trinidad and Tobago nor is it a happy day for me because this of course is about Trinidad,” he lamented.

The TTFF boss also touched on the lengthy legal battle with the 2006 players and hinted that an agreement to put an end to the dispute is near. (See page 38)

The TTFF was ordered by the court in October 2011 to make a second interim payment of $4.2 million to the players but have since failed to do so. Also commenting on the CONCACAF Congress was Rudolph Thomas, vice-president of TTFF.

Speaking in his private capacity, Thomas welcomed the probe by Concacaf into the ownership of the Centre of Excellence and believes they will learn from their past mistakes. “I would think that it is an appropriate undertaking at this point in time. You have a situation which is problematic that we need to move away from. We must learn from that situation and move on. We need to take the learning from the past errors and forge a way forward. You can’t change the past but you better learn from it,” Thomas said.

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