The disinfectant of public exposure appeared to have forced a change in Government policy to starve the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) of funds.
Speaking in the budget debate yesterday, Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley said the policy of depriving the TTFF of money was Jack Warner-inspired.
To buttress his claim, Rowley produced a letter from Warner, instructing Minister of Sport Anil Roberts not to provide the TTFF with funds.
As Rowley spoke, neither Warner nor Roberts was moved to intervene, remaining uncharacteristically silent.
Sometime later the Sport Minister announced that the Ministry was reversing its decision not to fund the senior national football team's participation in the 2012 Caribbean Cup football championships.
The letter, written by Warner which was dated April 20, 2012, and written on the Ministry of Works letterhead, stated: "It is in this regard that I want to recommend that no support be provided to the TTFF..."
"What!" PNM colleagues chorused.
Rowley continued to quote from the document: "Until they can defend the basis upon which Trinidadians and Tobagonians are being denied opportunities to excel and are being treated worse than second class citizens."
Rowley said after being allocated $541 million in 2012 for expenditure on sport, the Ministry of Sport had "humiliated" the national teams by not sponsoring them.
"For the want of $400,000 the national football team is grounded and humiliated. As we are required here now to approve new allocations to continue this corruption and profligacy the Minister must tell the country if all of this ill-treatment of the country's footballers have anything to do with the letter he received from the former FIFA vice president," Rowley declared.
Rowley said furthermore the Warner letter was in violation of a FIFA ban imposed on the Minister, a former vice-president of FIFA, not to have anything to do with football. Yet he (Warner) was in the Government using his authority as a Minister to direct Roberts, who had portfolio responsibility for football, the Opposition Leader said. "So the bottom line is this : Our footballers are in the worst position they have ever been because the Minister of Works instructed the Minister of Sports not to provide any money to footballers. And that is a Minister who is ostensibly banned from having anything to do with football. What more power can one have over football in this country than to instruct that football not be funded? I want to hear from FIFA about this," Rowley declared.
Rowley said recently the Under-19 team qualified for a major tournament and could not do preparations, while the seniors were currently "passing the hat on Frederick Street to collect coins and other charities".
Rowley said while all this was going on the Minister of Sport "sponsor of Nicki Minaj", "now spends $10 million for a two-month shindig called Life Sport Programme, the reports of which you would not want to read." He said the same Minister could also find $864,000 to house nine Cuban coaches in premises "procured under shady circumstances, with the rent for unfurnished premises being paid one year in advance".
Rowley added that the Eddie Hart grounds which the Tunapuna/Piarco corporation has maintained virtually for free all these years had been passed to the SPORTT company "so that questionable contracts for hundreds of thousands of dollars could be awarded to a Mickey Mouse company which is not even VAT-registered".
Rowley described the Sportt Company was a den of "iniquity, corruption and malfeasance".