Saturday, December 16, 2017

Warner, show us the figures

The David Simmons report has come and gone while Jack Warner has claimed innocence of all charges while vigorously defending his good character.

Now, permit me to take issue with two matters here. Mr Warner says former FIFA president Joao Havelange gave him the Centre of Excellence, which, in total over time, turned out to be a gift worth US$26 million.

This so-called gift was not minuted in a board or finance committee meeting of FIFA, and what could possibly be the justification for giving such a highly valued Caribbean asset, paid for with FIFA’s funds, to one man, who at the time was highly paid himself by FIFA? Can you imagine how much Carib­bean football would have benefited if this facility’s profits had accrued to the region instead of one man?

To come up with a similar parallel, I would like to ask Mr Warner if he would be happy with the president of the West indies Cricket Board making a gift of the board offices in St John’s, Antigua to the CEO so that he could rent the premises back to the board for personal profit? Of course, the answer would be no.

Finally, LOC 2006 Ltd. Every time Mr Warner faces journalists, he should be asked where are the accounts for LOC 2006 Ltd. Ten years ago, the Soca Warriors embarked on a campaign which ultimately took them to the World Cup finals in Germany.

During those heady days, corporate T&T, the T&T government and FIFA all made hefty contributions to a fund that swelled, according to those in the know, to over $200 million. Both Mr Warner’s two main lieutenants at the time, Oliver Camps and Richard Groden, are on record saying Mr Warner was solely in absolute control of all the donations and he has yet to produce comprehensive accounts for this fund, despite two High Court orders to do so.

Again, those in the know feel certain that over $100 million of this fund will never be traced. So, if Warner wants to clear his name he must show us every donation and every bit of expenditure from LOC 2006, and why is it taking him nearly seven years to do so.

Gregory Wight 

Diego Martin