The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) is the only avenue through which 13 members of the 2006 World Cup team feel they can have its former special adviser, ex-FIFA vice-president Jack Warner, account for funds raised during the World Cup campaign eight years ago.
ESPN analyst and 2006 Soca Warriors goalkeeper Neil “Shaka” Hislop stated yesterday that was the reason the group had not ended legal proceedings against the Association, despite Government on Monday making agreeing to make a final US$1.3 bonus payment to them by the Association.
Speaking yesterday on the TV6 World Cup programme, Hislop said: “Our only avenue to make him realise that responsibility is the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association. We will get our legal minds around it and (see) how we can make him accountable and not deny the young boys and girls the opportunities we enjoyed.”
Hislop anticipates that some TT $200m was raised during the 2006 World Cup campaign that qualified Trinidad and Tobago as the smallest nation to play in a FIFA Men’s World Cup. He also thinks that at most, expenses accounted for half of the money raised. “There is a one hundred million hole that Mr. Warner has not addressed, and so far refuses to address,” Hislop said.
“It’s not just about money anymore. Its about accountability,” added Soca Warriors defender Brent Sancho
Hislop added that he was aware that some people would call them “greedy”.
“But some also called us silly when we began,” Hislop countered. “When we began we had no idea what we were due. We just knew it was more that the $5,800 Mr. Warner was offering. Pretty quickly after that we found out it was not about what we were due, but what Mr. Warner was prepared to pay to not reveal the $100m dollars.”
Hislop said the next step is to consult with head lawyer Mike Townley and discuss the next step forward. The intention, he said is not to disrupt the function of the local football association.
“We don’t expect to infringe on the rights of the TTFA, or FIFA guidelines outlining interference, as it pertains to how football is governed,” Hislop said. “We have absolutely no intention of overthrowing anybody, least of all the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association. Our sole intention is to have Mr. Warner be accountable.”