Sunday, February 25, 2018

Tim Kee was forced out, says Watson

LENNOX WATSON yesterday disclosed that Raymond Tim Kee, the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) president-in-waiting, was basically forced out of the organisation three years ago.

Watson will demit office on Sunday, when insurance executive Tim Kee will be installed unopposed as the new TTFF president. Watson has held the post of interim TTFF president since October 27, 2011 when Oliver Camps resigned in the midst of a FIFA corruption investigation. Watson decided not to run for the presidential post, while another challenger, Colin Murray pulled out of the election last week. Watson remains a vice-president, and said he plans to serve out the remaining two and a half years of his term.

Yesterday, Watson held a press conference at the TTFF's Ana Street, Woodbrook office. During the conference, Watson stated that an undisclosed powerful person in the TTFF told Tim Kee to step down as vice-president, three years ago. Watson added that Tim Kee's removal was not democratic. He said the soon to be installed president was told he should step aside so that referees' chairman Krishna Kuarsingh could replace him as vice-president.

"Tim Kee was a vice-president of this federation. He was a senior vice-president and I worked with him. I remember him leaving the federation when he was asked to step aside," Watson said.

Watson added that such things were never done by democratic means in the TTFF in the past.

Watson said his own appointment to the TTFF executive was on the recommendation of former TTFF special adviser Jack Warner, who was then the third most powerful man in world football. Warner held the position of FIFA vice-president, and also president of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) and CONCACAF, which includes the Caribbean, North and Central America.

During his bid for the presidency, Tim Kee had said he would work with everyone for the good of football.

"He has to decide if he will take it forward as a troubled organisation or try to repair the damage that I was repairing," Watson said.

Often perceived as being hostile, to the media especially, Watson yesterday gave a human face as he defended his stewardship during his tenure as TTFF interim president. He spoke of working with few resources and successfully persuading world governing body FIFA to resume development funding to Trinidad and Tobago, which was cut off after Warner fell out with the international body and resigned amidst a 2011 bribery investigation.

Watson said that contrary to recent statements made by Minister of Sport, Anil Roberts, during his tenure the TTFF was above suspicion in its dealings with the Ministry. Watson said every bill required by the Ministry has been provided, and that friction between the TTFF and the Ministry of Sport only began after National Security Minister Warner wrote a letter to Minister Roberts, asking that funding to the TTFF be stopped. Warner was upset that the TTFF was not supporting T&T's Harold Taylor in CONCACAF presidential elections.