Wednesday, January 24, 2018


Roberts cautious, optimistic about new TTFF

While Minister of Sport Anil Roberts says the new Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) president Raymond Tim Kee is on the right path, he warned that the local football organisation still needs to regain taxpayers' trust.

In the days following his election, Roberts held talks with Tim Kee, elected unopposed on November 2 at the TTFF's AGM.

Based on those talks and the outlook Tim Kee presented, Roberts said the former TTFF vice-president is on the right track.

"I think he (Tim Kee) is getting his accountability, his executive, his people in order," Roberts told the Express. "The (national senior) team has done well we will continue to support them. We look forward to the whole organisation getting themselves above water and involving as many people as possible across the country to the point where we can have a relationship that we can trust them with the people's money once again.

"We are moving in that direction and the president has stated that accountability is high on the agenda and so both of us are on the same page," Roberts said.

Roberts dismissed suggestions that there would be any continued public argument with the Federation once it got its house in order.

In October, the Minister accused then chairman of the TTFF's authorisation committee Anthony Harford of not accounting properly for taxpayers' money in the $11 million budget for the national senior team's failed Brazil 2014 campaign. It was an accusation Harford denied.

In an October 25 letter to Roberts and Harford, former team manager David Muhammad also stated that the technical staff, whose contracts came to an end in January 2011, had $993,000 owed to them even after Roberts had said he had disbursed monies for their salaries since March.

Roberts said he did not want a repeat of the scenario of people not being paid when money was distributed and people not receiving their salaries and arguing for their money.

"That is not how you run a professional organisation," Roberts said, adding that, "Mr Harford...still has some issues to deal with and he is meeting with the audit department in the new year because there are still many questions, but he is out of the picture. There is a new president and he is talking a good game and putting structures in place and as long as he does that, that is all we ask for."

Roberts said he preferred the national sporting organisations (NSOs) to perform the tasks of accounting properly so his staff does not have to be overburdened.

The Minister stressed his responsibility is to the taxpayers.

"So if I have to monitor as closely as possible, then I have to, because I have the ultimate responsibility to ensure money is spent properly but the president is doing a great job, so are his manager (William Wallace) , the technical director Anton Corneal, the coaching staff, the other managers, all are coming forward now and we are on the same page," Roberts said.

Roberts said a cabinet note had been approved for the development of football and there will be advertisements placed for certain positions as well as many coaches across Trinidad and Tobago.