Thursday, December 14, 2017

TTFF get deadline over Warner

A High Court is expected to decide tomorrow what legal action could be handed down to have the former special advisor to the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF), Austin "Jack" Warner provide "all relevant documents" regarding all the finances relating to the country's participation in the 2006 World Cup.

In an 11-page ruling earlier this year, Justice Devindra Rampersad said that the TTFF should direct Warner in writing and copied to the attorneys for the players "to file an account of all monies received by him" as the TTFF's agent "in relation to all income, donations, gifts, grants or benefits whatsoever and all expenditure therefrom arising out of the World Cup 2006".

When the matter came up in court on Tuesday, Warner was not present and no documents were handed to the court.

The players' spokesman, Brent Sancho told reporters the "judge has given the TTFF an ultimatum that tomorrow they will re-appear in court at 9.30 am and discuss what legal proceedings they are going to take against Mr. Warner.

"They have to make it a legal proceeding obviously," he said, adding "if they don't go down the legal route against Mr. Warner then we will all have to come back to court...".

In last month's ruling, the judge said that "such account [was] to be verified by affidavit deposed to by Mr. Warner exhibiting all relevant documentation".

The ruling followed a claim filed by 13 former national footballers including former international goalkeeper Shaka Hislop and Stoke City striker Kenwyne Jones, seeking a number of reliefs, including an account of all sums due from the TTFF under an agreement made "at a series of meetings" between the representatives of the players and the national governing body.

They were also seeking an account of all the monies received by Warner and/or former Federation president Oliver Camps and general secretary Richard Groden "individually or together, legally or beneficially and/or by to an agent acting on their behalf or any other party under the effective ownership or control of or serving as agents" of the TTFF, Camps, Warner or Groden.

The players had also asked the court for a disclosure of all "sums paid to Camps under the agreement".

Sancho, meanwhile, said that the judge had hinted "towards obviously making the TTFF in contempt of court".

He said he hoped "commonsense" would prevail and that based on documents presented in the court so far, it appears there was contradiction from both Warner and the TTFF.

"Mr. Warner sent in a letter yesterday stating that he has given the Federation letters indicating that he has no information for them, he has given them back everything that he had concerning football which is in direct contradiction to Oliver Camps' affidavit stating that Mr. Warner is the only one with all the information concerning the World Cup 2006 accounts.

"Also, Warner said that he also was going to give the accounts earlier on October 17 in an affidavit. So he is even contradicting himself," Sancho said, reiterating that on "October 17 Mr. Warner signed an affidavit that he would give account and assist in any way in terms of making this court case go along smoothly".

On September 11 last year, the players filed an application for Warner, who is now a senior cabinet minister in the T&T government, to be joined as a party to the proceedings.

In his affidavit, Warner said that he was prepared to provide to the TTFF the information or documentation "relevant to the takings of the account between it and the claimants in so far as the same was within his knowledge or control".